I was recently on a Zoom call with Jonny The Friendly Lawyer – it’s my hope that, if the COVID situation improves and travel restrictions begin to get lifted, then a trip to visit him in LA, postponed from last year, will go ahead in a few months time.

The call, as it inevitably does, got onto the subject of music and I made mention of Close Lobsters and how they were one of the most underrated of all the Scottish bands to emerge in the 80s. Jonny expressed a bit of surprise that the band were from around these parts – he knew they were British but hadn’t quite paid attention to exactly where from.  In turn, he surprised me by mentioning that Close Lobsters had enjoyed a fair amount of college radio exposure in the US back in the day – I had always assumed they hadn’t done much, initially, beyond these shores.

The band formed in 1985 in Paisley, a sizable town in Scottish terms, located immediately to the south-west of Glasgow, first coming to prominence the following year via a song being included on the C86 compilation put together by the NME.  They lasted around four years, releasing two albums and a handful of singles on Fire Records, the London-based indie label.  As Jonny informed me, they got a fair bit of attention in the States, helped by a review of the debut album in Rolling Stone Magazine which described it as:-

“first-rate guitar pop from a top-shelf band. Close Lobsters could have been just another jangle group, but they have a lot more going for them than just chiming Rickenbackers.

The band reformed in 2012, and I was lucky enough to get to see one of the comeback gigs at a small and very sticky basement venue in Glasgow where they put on an outstanding show.  A few singles and EPs were then released sporadically and finally, in 2020, there was a new album, released by the excellent team behind the Last Night in Glasgow label.  All being well, there’s a live show or two planned for later in the year, including at a small Glasgow venue quite close to Villain Towers, for which tickets have been bought.

The band have released a lot of great songs over the years, but if you want my opinion, they never bettered their third single, which got to #17 in the UK indie charts in 1987:-

mp3: Close Lobsters – Let’s Make Some Plans

I picked up a second hand copy on 12″ vinyl a good while back, and have just again, using the new(ish) turntable, made a fresh rip at 320kpbs, well above the normal quality on offer at the blog.  And here’s your b-sides:-

mp3: Close Lobsters – In Spite Of These Times
mp3: Close Lobsters – Get What They Deserve

Two tracks that many of their contemporaries would love to have written and released as singles….there really was a plethora of riches from Close Lobsters back in the day.



  1. Firestation Towers from the C86 comp is still my favorite Close Lobsters song, and a standout on that seminal collection.

  2. I do like Close Lobsters – I guess my favourite will always be Going To Heaven To See It It Rains if for no other reason than familiarity. I cannot begin to estimate how often that 12″ got played in my student room in 86/87.

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