There’s a famous moment in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where Frank-N-Furter delivers the line, ‘I see you shiver with antici- <dramatic pause>- -pation’. Three support bands have played before Lower Than Atlantis arrive on stage, almost three hours after doors opened. There may be such a thing as too much anticipation? It is (of course) a great opportunity for each of the support bands, but people attend gigs to see the headline act. Such a lengthy wait (for those who arrived early) may be regarded as testing audience goodwill.
However, Lower Than Atlantis do open their set with the impressive ‘Had Enough’ (the opening track of their new album Safe in Sound), to a rapturous reception. This is immediately followed by ‘Dumb’ (also from the new album).
Frontman Mike Duce invites the audience to sit on the floor and they largely comply. As the band launches into ‘Beech Like the Tree’, Duce says ‘Jump when I say “Jump!”’, and they do, with gusto. Bodysurfing becomes a sport. Several audience members are passed forward to the waiting arms of security staff in the pit.
During ‘You’ve Got to Work For It’, Duce asks the audience to sing along to the chorus. Glasgow audiences rarely pass up a chance to give it laldy. Tonight proves no exception to that general rule.
‘Boomerang’ delivers a rousing finish to the band’s set. Making an inevitable return for encores, Duce announces, “We’re going to play a sad song, is that alright?”, there are no dissenting voices. Phones are held aloft and waved gently as ‘Another Sad Song’ plays. It’s the 21st century version of yesteryear’s concert cigarette lighter moment.
A brief pause occurs to allow an audience photo to be taken from the stage. Duce says, ‘The next one’s a bit of a jumpy one…that means jump!’ Bouncing like Tigger ensues as ‘English Kids in America’ is played, albeit with a Saltire being displayed behind the band. Tonight it’s ‘Honorary Scottish Kids in America’, perhaps? The evening ends with a highly energetic version of ‘Here We Go’.
Lower Than Atlantis are a very talented band with impressive songs. Alas, their live performance tonight suffers from a sound mix which seems muddy at times, particularly when they ‘turn it up to 11’, as Spinal Tap might put it. Shame.