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:-
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:-
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.