LANY (pronounced Lay-nee) is not one of the world’s biggest bands, but is definitely one to keep an eye on as their popularity grows and one that appears – to the slight irritation of my boyfriend who seems to listen to exclusively American rap and does not appreciate indie pop – regularly on my playlists. Consisting of three individuals – Paul Jason Klein, Charles Leslie Priest, and Jake Clifford Goss – the band formed in 2014 and have released two albums as well as a smattering of singles and EPs and have supported artists such as Ellie Goulding and John Mayer. If you’re not familiar with the band, you’ve most likely heard ILYSB (“I love you so bad” – LANY are a fan of acronyms), a chill song that has some super catchy lyrics. This gig was a part of the tour of their second album, Malibu Nights, which was released in October last year.
Glasgow is not a place that I know well – I’ve only ever been when accompanied by people who know the city – and so taking it on at night and in the rain felt like a bit of task for someone who struggles to tell their rights from their lefts. To start with, the day was a bit of a mess. Our trains were cancelled left, right and centre and where we were staying seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. In order to cut costs, we had decided to stay in a hostel, where the only redeeming feature was the big fluffy dog, Clyde, who stood and looked out the window of the common room area for the majority of the time we were there. First stop for us was to find Wagamama, an obvious essential for students who probably had a combined £20 in their bank accounts.
As predicted, there were some bumps in the road when I realised, first off, that SWG3 was not the same as the SSE Hydro and that my route for the evening was therefore made completely redundant, and then that we were on the wrong side of a very busy motorway when we did actually find the venue. Whilst we considered crossing and saving ourselves a 20-minute walk to the nearest crossing, we decided that being hit by a car in the middle of Glasgow at night was not the way to go.
But fear not! We arrived just as LANY performed their first song, “Thick and Thin”, and suddenly all of the effort we had put in to get there was made worth it. SWG3 is a tiny converted warehouse studio which holds only about 450 people. The entire gig was standing, meaning while we were up close and personal with the band, we were also as close to 449 other people’s armpits, but for LANY, the vibe was spot on. The audience was completely captivated, and it was really nice to see a range of different people, from obvious mega fans to people who were there for someone else to people knew all the words but were happy to watch from a distance. Even my friend, who had heard probably 1.5 LANY songs before she came with me, was singing along.
LANY’s connection with their music really came across throughout the gig, and it was clear that all details had been thought out without being too planned, making the atmosphere laid-back but still exciting. Their set up was incredibly simple: there were visuals displayed on a big screen behind them, featuring simple block colours, lyrics and parts of music videos, such as for Super Far, one of their more well-known songs. Their title song for this tour, Malibu Nights, has a really dreamy piano part, and featured a night sky visual behind them as they played which drew the audience in even more.
One of the things that I think makes LANY incredibly smart as a band is the filler instrumental pieces that have been woven into their songs. In these parts, the stage went dark, giving the band a moment to recuperate before launching into the next song. For me, while LANY always sounds great through my headphones, their attention to how the songs are played live makes them even better to watch.
I loved that they played an amalgamation of songs both old and new. Although this tour was focused on their newest album, it was great to hear more familiar songs that I’d played time and time again for years. Since we arrived late, we weren’t entirely sure whether the first song we heard was actually the first song, and I spent the majority of the gig with my fingers crossed that we hadn’t missed any of my favourites. You can imagine my absolute horror when the band left the stage without performing ILYSB – and then my absolute delight when they came back on a few minutes later for the encore and played exactly that song.
The whole gig was a huge success, and whilst Glasgow is not my favourite city, I have fond memories of the evening and I can’t wait to see what LANY do next.