ANCHOR LANE / RUM RUNNERS / DARKNESS DIVINE - The Garage Attic, Glasgow - 26.05.18


The Garage Attic venue in Glasgow is just that, a small room at the top of a long climb up the staircase at the rear of the Garage nightclub which could well have been the attic of the premises in years gone by. Now transformed, with a small stage and the obligatory bar, it hosts regular gigs featuring small upcoming bands and the odd bigger name acts. On this night, a sweltering and sweaty Sunday on a bank holiday weekend, we were about to be treated to three of the best upcoming bands in Scotland.


The crowd were already climbing the stairs and queued in anticipation as we arrived at the venue and it was not long before this sold out show began in style with Glasgow band Darkness Divine.


Many of us in the crowd have clearly seen this band live before and expectations were high. There was no disappointment as they take to the stage and guitarists Dave Fulton and Graeme McShane let rip with the opening chords of ‘Crawling Through The Storm’. The crowd, immediately on the side of the band, are going wild with appreciation for this track, which certainly lives up to the last word of its title - Storm.


The storm only rages harder with the tracks ‘Stranger’ and ‘A Stronger Dose’ and it is obvious to all present that this room is at fever pitch with support and that we really do want a stronger dose of this material. Fortunately, we will soon be rewarded with this track, along with the next track of the night, ‘What We Want’, being included on the bands’ forthcoming debut EP.


Moving towards the end of their set, Darkness Divine unleash the absolute standout track of the evening in ‘Hyde’. The crowd, clearly knowing every word, having seen and heard this track played live many times, are joining in on vocals. At times it seems as if bassist Gary McNeill, as animated as ever, is conducting the crowd with his on-stage persona as we get close to drowning out vocalist Toni Benedetti-Martin and the absolute thunder of John ‘Pinky’ Martin on drums as the track reaches its climax. The band launch into the last track of their all too short set with ‘Digression’ before they leave the stage to thunderous applause and cheers of approval.


Check out more from Darkness Divine at


Crawling Through The Storm
A Stronger Dose
What We Want


Band Members:
Toni Benedetti-Martin - Vocals
Graeme McShane - Guitar
Dave Fulton - Guitar
Gary Mcneill - Bass
John “Pinky” Martin - Drums



The final night of RUM RUNNERS support slot on this short tour with Anchor Lane, could not have gone better for the band or the fans alike with a sold-out crowd to spur them on. Formed in late 2016, this 3 piece band consisting of Will Howard on Vocals and Guitar, Pete Lugg on Bass and Jim Shemilt on Drums, are based in Edinburgh and cite their style as a blues, classic rock and Americana base with influences ranging from Led Zeppelin, Blackberry Smoke and Arctic Monkeys, all the way to Jimi Hendrix.


The band have already cut their teeth with support slots for the likes of Chuck Mosley (Faith No More) and Bernie Torme allowing them great exposure and experience.


A relatively new act to me, I make my way to the front of the stage, camera in hand, to be instantly impressed with the musical ability on display both vocally and instrumentally. It is clear to all those present that these guys can really play and that they gel exceptionally well together on stage.


The opening trio of songs ‘Heavy Heart’, ‘Voodoo Mystery’ and ‘Devils Got Tighter Grip’, quickly grab our attention and stamp their ability and style on us as the band move into ‘One Last Time’,  a superb song with an immediately memorable chorus and a great guitar solo. This track sets the scene for the remainder of the bands set and I suspect for many, myself included, that this is the stand out track of the evening with its infectious riffs and well-constructed lyrics.


The crowd are already loving the fusion musical styles that always retain the classic rock emphasis, whilst beautifully straying into other territories, as is demonstrated by the next track, ‘Wash You Off Of Me’. The crowds’ appreciation is abundantly obvious as we are given the band introductions. To digress just for a moment, normally band introductions are the opportunity for people to cheer and applaud the musicians but, on this occasion, something additional happened. People really appeared to pay attention to the names and the information about the bands’ EP, which is a testament to the professionalism and skill of the musicians we are listening to and the clear ability to play and entertain which was on display.


Moving onto the last few songs of their set, which are also the remaining 3 songs from Embers their debut EP, ‘Heart on Fire’ is another of the bands absolutely superbly constructed tracks with a solid rock sound, a bluesy background overlaid with infinitely listenable lyrics. It has us dancing where we stand. ‘Fray’ opens with a lovely guitar riff from Will Howard which is reminiscent of something Richie Blackmore or Angus Young might have come up with in their younger days. The track is a song about a relationship and by the time we reach the guitar solo, it makes us feel like the track is going to take off and rip the roof off this small venue with its feeling and intensity, backed up by rock-solid drumming from Jim Shemilt and an exceptionally tight bass from Pete Lugg. The opening riff of the track, which is an instant earworm, is repeated to good effect throughout the track and comes back time and time again making this a real crowd pleaser. ‘Can’t Have It All’ is the last track of the evening and the band rightly receivLINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COMe a huge and rousing reception from a crowd who have clearly enjoyed what they have just seen and listened to.


The bands debut EP Embers is available in hard copy and through the usual streaming music sites. I can honestly say I love it, and cannot wait to have more material available from this band.


Check out more from the Rum Runners at


Heavy Heart
Voodoo Mystery
Devils Got A Tighter Grip
One Last Time
Wash You Off Of Me
Heart On Fire
Can’t Have It All


Band Members:
Will Howard - Vocals/Guitar
Pete Lugg - Bass/Backing Vocals
Jim Shemilt - Drums/Backing Vocals


What more needs to be said about ANCHOR LANE? Well, the answer to that question is LOTS!!!  The band have been a regular fixture on the Glasgow music scene for some time now and deservedly so. A superb live act with great music, a cheeky swagger to their style and an instantly likeable sound, this band are going from strength to strength.


Influenced by bands such as Rival Sons, Foo Fighters and Queen, the band have gone from strength to strength with their enigmatic live performances. There are not many local bands who can boast that in one year they will be playing at the Stonefree Festival, the Isle of Wight Festival, Download and Winterstorm, but Anchor Lane can do all that and more. The band also had a recent appearance on STV’s Live at Five Show where they played a new track entitled ‘Found Out. If you have not found out about Anchor Lane yet then you should ask yourself why.


Opening their sold-out set, at the end of this short tour, with the familiar songs ‘Runaway’ and ‘Eclipse’, the band have just given us the chance to settle in before they unleash the new track ‘Found Out’. Undoubtedly one of the best-written songs the band have tackled, it is of little wonder that they chose this song for their recent appearance on ‘Live at Five’. With the crowd already in the palm of their hands’ vocalist Conor Gaffney, to the sounds of the very relevant Chaplin speech as an intro, displays his prowess in another new song ‘Prophets of War’ with the ease of someone with many more years experience.


Most of us present have seen Anchor Lane play live many times, but, for those who had not, there was no doubt that the remaining members of the band work exceptionally hard as a team, with Matthew Quigley establishing himself as a solid driving force of musical ability and killer bass riffs which complement the amazing drumming of Scott Hanlon, and superb playing from lead guitarist Jack Nicol during a song which can only be described as fast and in your face.


As a unit, the four band members are clearly the best of friends and feed off each other’s energy and enthusiasm, which is more than amply displayed to the appreciative crowd. Slowing things down just a little with ‘Take Some Time’ the crowd, enraptured, do just that and get their breath back before Conor Gaffney, his humour and likability coming to the fore, dons a pair of aviator sunglasses and asks if anyone is a fan of the movie Top Gun. To the delights of the crowd, the band play an absolutely stunningly good version of ‘Danger Zone’ (Kenny Loggins). I can almost see and hear the fighter planes overhead though it was not so easy to imagine Tom Cruise as, thankfully, Gaffney is a little taller and has a far better hairstyle than Cruise.


The inevitable movement towards the final few songs of the set begins with another new song ‘Flatline’ which the band describe as having a groovy feel and a “na na na” chorus section. We are now lapping up the new material and it bodes very well indeed for the future if the band continues with the exceptionally high standards on display tonight.

‘Rising Up’ swiftly follows and this has been a staple in recent live shows as it stands up well with the other material, and it is a great choice before the band finish with the excellent crowd favourite of ‘Finished For Twelve’ from their debut EP ‘New Beginning’.


I am absolutely certain that every single one of us in the crowd wishes that this set could have gone on for much longer and could have finished well after twelve but, as all things must do, it came to an end all too soon.

It is hard to explain how infectious Anchor Lane are as a live act and just how nice they are as people, which was demonstrated by the amount of time they took at the end of their set to speak with each and every person who wanted a quick hello with them. Do not miss an opportunity to see Anchor lane live, you will not regret it.


Check out Anchor Lane at


Found Out
Prophets of War
Take Some Time
Rising Up
Finished For Twelve


Band Members:
Conor Gaffney - Vocals /Guitar
Jack Nicol - Guitar
Matthew Quigley - Bass
Scott Hanlon - Drums



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