It only just dawned on me this morning that it’s been literally three years (give or take a day or two) since I first came across LANY, in March 2015. The band have come such a long way in such a short space of time. The first time I set eyes on Paul Klein, Les Priest and Jake Goss they were tiny dots on the stage of the SSE Hydro – warming up for the one and only Ellie Goulding – at that point they’d only been together as a band for just over a year, so it was clear they were here to make waves – and they weren’t hanging about.
Since then, I’ve seen LANY go from strength to strength. From a show in King Tuts – which saw a shy Paul ‘fight’ with the dodgy tech all night, to the QMU show where I had a chat with them about their self titled album released just a couple of months before. This was my fourth time getting to see the band live.
We arrived as the support band, Mosa Wild took to the stage. The room was already packed out and we had to squish our way in, something quite unusual for a Friday night gig in Glasgow, as a trip to the pub beforehand is the norm for most! Their set was good; it made me hunt the band down on instagram before they’d even finished. They only have one track available online so far though – “Smoke.” They’ve got a very Mumford & Sons-y sound going on, which I really appreciate.
At 8.30pm sharp, the lights dipped, the background music faded and cheers came from every angle. Time for LANY. Les, Jake and Paul took to the stage and kicked off their set with “Thick and Thin,” one of the most recent singles from their album “Malibu Nights.” It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a crowd sing along that loud, and Paul conducted us like a choir straight into “Good Girls” from the debut album. The singing only got louder.
“4EVER!” and “yea, babe, no way” followed suit, much to the delight of both older fans and new fans alike – I love that they still play tracks from their first EP releases, and give them as much attention as the newer tracks. “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore” was followed by “Taking Me Back,” again from ‘Malibu Nights’ and Paul jumped around the stage with the most amazing energy. One thing I have noticed, is that when he’s on stage – no matter how far back you are – he always seems to make eye contact with fans. Now, I know as well as the next person that standing on a stage with a million bright lights shining in your eyes means that you definitely cannot see the eyes of the person in the second row never mind the fortieth, but Paul has a way of making you feel like he knows you’re there.
Another couple of slightly older tracks, in the shape of “Made in Hollywood” and “Hurts” kept the crowd screeching along like their lives depended on it. A couple of my favourite tracks from Malibu Nights came next – “Run” and “Valentines Day” are emotional tracks, but even more so when you’re hearing them live.
“If You See Her” had the everyone bouncing along and you could see in the band’s faces that they were enjoying the show as much as the crowd clearly were.
I have two particular favourite favourite LANY songs – “The Breakup” from their first, self titled album, and “Pink Skies” from early EP “Kinda.” You can imagine my excitement when they played them back to back. If any of you follow my socials, you’ll know I love a sunrise/sunset picture, particularly when the world goes pink… Pink Skies is always my go-to song to quote lyrics from and I’m so, so glad they still play it live.
With lyrics like “I know your heart hurts the most at 3am,” “Hericane” is a tear jerker track without even having to concentrate too much on it, but while standing in the middle of SWG3’s TV Studio, surrounded by likeminded fans, we really had no hope! Picking us all back up off the floor, they smashed into the band’s biggest single to date, “Super Far” and had everyone jumping and dancing all over again… but not for long! “Malibu Nights” is the title track of the most recent album, it’s a slow, dreamy sounding beaut of a song, and Paul playing it on piano to an almost silent, completely captivated audience was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry. LANY’s visuals are always completely on point, and Friday night was no different – during “Malibu Nights” the backdrop was a starry universe and the music felt like it was transporting the entire venue to exactly that place.
The band left the stage to a mass of cheering and applause, and reappeared some three minutes later to the classic Glaswegian chant of “Here we, here we, here we fxcking go” – going straight into the lead single from Malibu Nights, “Thru These Tears.” The first time I heard this song, the piano breakdown in the middle jumped out my headphones at me and marched me straight to my own piano, inspired to get back into it and learn the breakdown to play along with it – if that’s what listening to it in those silly wee earphones felt like, you can imagine what it was like to experience it live. The lyrics are equally as inspirational, “this hurts like hell, but I keep telling myself, it’s gonna get better…” & “In the end I’m gonna be alright…” it was all like a big musical hug.
Rounding off an epic set with ILYSB (I Love You, So Bad – for those of you not down with the lingo) – Jake, Les and Paul had every single person in the room singing their hearts out, and meaning it. Genuinely one of my favourite gigs yet; you could tell the band were enjoying themselves, but also putting their everything into every visual, beat, note and vocal that left the stage. I’m already so excited for what happens next in their career.
LANY? We do LYSB.