A Friday night in Glasgow seems like a good place for a party, and there aren’t many bands I want to party with more than Against Me. Even in a year where they released an album that I was rather non-plussed with, Against Me sit high on my list of most played. They are a special band who mean a hell of a lot to a wide range of people.
Before we get to that, however, we have Mobina Galore, a two-piece who unlike every other two-piece out there at the moment aren’t dull as fuck. There’s something remarkably simple about getting two people on stage and having them blare through some punk songs, and that is exactly what they provide. There are enough hooks there to have you coming back for more and the lack of bass never once feels like an issue.
Milk Teeth are cool. The second they walk onto stage and launch into a cover of ‘Bad Reputation’ that fact becomes painfully clear. It gets even better when that transitions into ‘Brain Food’ and you realise that one album into their career this band are stunningly ahead of the curve. If Kurt Cobain had written ‘Kabuki’ it would be a classic, and yet this group from Stroud make it look easy.
And yes, they sound like they came out of America in the early nineties but that doesn’t matter. Because these songs are already better than half of those bands ever were. ‘Swear Jar’, ‘Burger Drop’ and ‘Vitamins’ are brilliant but it is a setlist that doesn’t have a weak moment, and I feel like I need to say again that this is a band with one album under their belt. You need Milk Teeth in your life so get on it. Now.
Talking about cool, who doesn’t want to be Laura Jane Grace when they grow up? Against Me take Glasgow in the palm of their hand and crush it for the hour and a half that they are on stage. This is punk rock banger after punk rock banger, and there isn’t a moment where the crowd isn’t singing along and having the time of their life.
‘True Trans Soul Rebel’ kicks things off and a more perfect opening song you’d struggle to find. Yet somehow it’s almost easy to forget in comparison to what else happens. ‘Pints of Guinness Make You Strong’ is as rowdy as its ever been while ‘I Was A Teenage Anarchist’ is the perfect pop song that you sadly won’t hear that often on the radio. Even the tracks off Shape Shift With Me suddenly seem vital in the live setting.
The highlight comes from ‘Black Me Out’, though. A powerful song on record it becomes transcendent live, Grace’s voice giving it a beauty and an anger that can’t be placed into words. The encore of ‘Baby, I’m An Anarchist!’, FuckMyLife666′, ‘Thrash Unreal’ and ‘Sink, Florida, Sink’ is about as perfect a way to end a gig as you will see this year.
A special band? Against Me are more than that. Sadly, I’ve heard tales of some right shitstains gracing this tour at other venues (with Em from Nervus’s story being so far past disappointing it’s a dot on the horizon), but I saw none of that in Glasgow, and I hope to fuck no one else did either. Instead, I saw a group of people brought together by one of the best bands on the planet, and there is nothing better than that.