London post-punks Dry Cleaning returned to Glasgow for the first time since their triumphant Barrowland show for a sold out gig next door in the elegant surrounds of St Lukes.

Just back from a mini tour of the USA and now embarking on an extensive UK and European run, they must be one of the busiest bands around. Selling out St Lukes is no mean feat and the Venue was packed to the rafters for what was a highly memorable performance. 

Performing together since 2017 and comprising a somewhat eclectic group of individuals, from vocalist Florence Shaw, with her spoken word rendering of their songs – Lewis Maynard on bass like some heavy metal God, to Tom Dowd on guitar, a post punk rocker shredding his Gibson guitar and Nick Buxton on drums doing a very convincing impersonation of some prog rocker from the 70s (1970s that is). Then you can throw into the mix, a plethora of tape loops and samples. 

This combination is for this writer one of the things which makes music nowadays such a joy to both listen too and watch live, especially when you are in a venue such as St Lukes which is a restored church with the vestiges of a very impressive pipe organ as a backdrop. 

Playing a packed set list (19 songs) comprising a number of songs from both their albums to date ‘New Long Leg’ and 2022’s Grammy wining ‘Stumpwork’ along with a few from their recently reissued early EPs. 

Opening with ‘New Job’ gave a sense of what was to come, with Florence Shaw, dressed in a seemingly oversized suit, slightly awkward looking mannerisms and hand movements giving the impression of someone who would rather be somewhere else, (reminiscent of David Byrne). All this did was draw the crowd in even more and she and the rest of the band proceeded to storm through the rest of the night finishing the first part of the set with breakout single ‘Magic of Meghan’. I say the first part as the encore was actually like another mini set, with 7 songs, and finally finishing the night off with firm fan favourite ‘Scratchcard Lanyard’.
Dry Cleaning are a joy to behold with their deadpan delivery, catchy guitar and the magnetic presence of Florence Shaw, it shouldn’t work but it just does and the results are mesmerising.

Words and pictures: Kevin Rooney @knkography