“This is probably the last great rock ‘n’ roll band,” announced our master of ceremonies, the artist Jim Lambie, whose reverence for the work of enigmatic Brummie indie cypher Lawrence (his surname, Hayward, is never credited) was matched by a hipster Glasgow audience comprising members of Franz Ferdinand, the Vaselines, the Yummy Fur and more.
Go Kart Mozart - Poetry Club, Glasgow
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Now 51, Lawrence’s leadership of celebrated bands Felt and Denim in the 1980s and 1990s has brought him an enduring if underground reputation, and this live set from his newest group was the culmination of a day at the Poetry Club which had featured a film screening and artistic collaboration with Lambie in tribute.
In person, Lawrence made an unlikely rock icon, a painfully skinny guy in a blue blazer with a baseball cap and a silver sequinned tie. The set began with the loping, almost hip-hop groove of Lawrence Takes Over and the rinky-dink keyboard pop of West Brom Blues, both from Go Kart Mozart’s new album On the Hot Dog Streets, before a 40-minute show drawn from this band’s past output.
Highlights included the satirical state of the nation anthem Cum On You Lot (“this country’s lost its spine, all we do is moan and whine… you’re a disgrace,”) and the equally misanthropic We’re Selfish and Lazy and Greedy.
Playing alongside a keyboard player, bassist and drummer, Lawrence’s DIY approach belies an acute pop sensibility – as heard on Glorious Chorus and Donna and the Dopefiends, the latter so perfect it was played twice – and a brave if confrontational willingness to populate his songs with characters who mirror the Love Thy Neighbour unsubtlety of a 1970s upbringing. There are indeed none like him.