Laura Jane Grace’s Canadian tour, with support acts Mobina Galore and Lande Hekt stopped in London on September 14th. The tour was originally planned for February 2022, and rescheduled for September. This is likely the reason it moved from the original venue, the London Music Hall, to its upstairs bar, Rum Runners. It was a rare opportunity to see Grace in a more intimate venue.
Mobina Galore was the first band to take the stage. It’s the best kind of surprise when an opening band you aren’t familiar with makes you an immediate fan. This punk duo from Winnipeg are one of the best opening band surprises I’ve seen in a few years and are definitely worth checking out. Their sound is a stripped down hardcore slanted punk with really melodic and aggressive vocals.
Lande Hekt, a folk punk solo artist out of Exeter UK has the same draw to me as Laura Jane Graces work. Her songs are a window into her lived experience, and are well written and thought provoking.
Attending a Laura Jane Grace show of some sort has been on my bucket list for some time. She’s about as punk rock as someone can get. To my knowledge, she’s the first established rock musician to come out as transgender, which is the focus of her 2014 album Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Her music has the social and political relevance that is something sorely missing from the world today. She has an honesty and directness in her lyrics that makes you feel like you know her. Her music can be hard hitting and unsettling but melodic and familiar. You can hear a definite folk influence in her lyrical style and classic rock style melodic sensibilities delivered with punk ferocity.
If you could simultaneously receive a welcome home hug while the person is throwing a rock through a plate glass window, it’s musical equivalent would be Laura Jane Grace. Her performance was the type that really works well in a bar sized venue like Rum Runners, as a solo show with nothing more in between the artist and the crowd than a mic stand and an acoustic guitar. Her one person acoustic 24 song set still kept its meaning and intensity and was a great way of experiencing a different spin on some of Against Me!’s best songs.
Laura Jane Grace with Lande Hekt and Mobina Galore
Sept. 14, 2022
All photos by David Booth
Laura Jane Grace: