Anchor Lane

Retro Manchester // Sunday 5 February 2023

It’s this writers humble opinion that to really make it in this life you need both talent by the bucket load but more importantly a huge slice of luck. Hollywood, Sport and Music, the world of entertainment is littered with story after story of people being in the right place at the right time.

Take Harry Kane for example. Ten years ago the future Sir ‘Arry was on his 5th unsuccessful loan spell. Fast forward ten years and after injury crisis at Spurs gave him his chance, he’s scuffing a club record breaking fluke past everyone’s second favourite football team. He was in the right place, right time. Talent AND luck, you’ve got to have both.

Which brings me to Sunday. A couple of hours after Big Hazza ruined my afternoon, my spirits were lifted by a group of lads with unbound talent but sadly not much luck. Anchor Lane were one of those bands on the very cusp of greatness until COVID reared its ugly head, stopping dead the momentum painstakingly built. But as Mr Kipling explained, whilst taking a break from making exceedingly good cakes (I don’t think it’s the same Kip…never mind.) it’s no good moping, you’ve got to start again with worn down tools. Or, as in this case, a delicious looking cream Fender Stratocaster.

The lads are touring their new album, which we reviewed in January (Call this a Reality? Album Review), opening with single Stutter with Choke and I Don’t Have Another Soul To Pour shortly after. Right from the off the band weren’t strangers to the crowd, lead vocalist Connor Gaffney and guitarist Lawrence O’Brien positioning themselves amongst the front row. One of the real joys of a venue like Retro is the intimacy allows for an easy rapport, the band at ease between songs engaging the crowd with warmth and humour.

Bursting through their 14 song set we were taken on a tour of the history of rock. For Anchor Lane are not shy in allowing us to hear their influences, giving their sound both a freshness but also a comforting familiarity. O’Brien even resembles a young slim Meatloaf. They are a rock band in every sense of the word!

Shortly after squeezing in a couple of tracks from debut album Casino, Blood and Irony being a particular favourite of mine. Gaffney informed the crowd it was the last day of Independent Venue Week so even the venue was afforded a little cheer. Independent Music Venues are vital to the live music industry we all enjoy. All of us here at Moshmag are fully behind sun initiatives, that really help focus the spotlight on a side of the industry hidden away from the glamour and attraction of the bigger, more successful side of the industry. After all, without these grass roots venues, there almost certainly would be no Apollo, or Victoria Warehouse et al!

For more information about what Independent Venue Week is, or how you can support the initiative, head over to

Anchor Lane are a technically excellent band. From start to finish those lucky enough to be amongst the Retro crowd were treated to an exceptionally tight set. It’s patently obvious to any neutral observer that Anchor Lane are not shy of putting in the hours to hone that tightness, and to polish their huge sound. And whilst Retro is an intimate, and wonderful rock club capable of holding it’s own, it almost struggled to contain the massive wall of sound being emitted from the even more intimate stage! It really was a privilege to be able to see a band – so obviously destined for great things – in such intimate surroundings.

With much of the tour still to come, starting with Grimsby at the time of me writing this, followed by Somerset, Birmingham, Stoke, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, I’d strongly urge you to take the opportunity to enjoy them up close and personal. I suspect the next time we see Anchor Lane in Manchester that chance will be long gone. As I’ve said, it’s all about right place, right time.

Dates and Tickets for remaining tour dates can be found and purchased from Anchor Lanes website and

Enjoy our Jumbo gallery below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Start typing and press Enter to search