Life Without Buildings Any Other City

29th September 2023

Format Info

LP - pink/black splatter

The Glasgow School: No.02

Clear LP with black/pink splatter + hand stamped and numbered Kraft folder w/ full album lyric book designed by Sue Tompkins, replica ticket, three flyers and two pins designed by Sue and Robert Dallas Gray.

Monorail / Rough Trade co-exclusive.

The first time I ever heard Life Without Buildings was during a school trip to Edinburgh. We’d been given free rein to wander around the city for an hour before catching the bus back to Aberdeen and I found myself in a record shop. “He’s the shaker, baby” rattled through the store, over and over. An undeniably English accent took the lead over intricate guitar, almost like a stream of consciousness. I didn’t know if she was singing or speaking…or both. But I knew I liked it and I knew I couldn’t go home and never hear it again. So, I asked the cashier what was playing. Life Without Buildings.

Life Without Buildings were Sue, Robert, Chris and Will — a group of mostly Glasgow School of Art students who joined forces in the summer of 1999; Sue joining a little later in the year. They weren’t active for too long, disbanding in 2002 after the release of their first and final record, Any Other City. Embarking on a tour with Belle and Sebastian and playing countless shows across the country, the band are surprisingly pretty undocumented; a few fuzzy live videos recorded at the now closed Beat Room in Glasgow resurfaced on YouTube a few years ago, but give or take a few interviews and a live recording from a show in Sydney, there’s not much out there. There’s a mystery to them; the kind that leaves you wanting to fill in the gaps for yourself. Maybe selfishly I’d have liked them to last forever, because usually when you love something you want it to stick around, but I think this time it’s a little different. Life Without Buildings existed for as long as they needed to, capturing lightning in a bottle; a moment of time in Glasgow and the lives of the musicians who lived here. A record that sounds like nothing else.

So now, whenever I find myself wondering around Edinburgh, I’ll listen to New Town. But I’ll do that everywhere, really…in every other city in the world.

Lauren T / 2023

The Glasgow School is a series of records that will document what we consider to be the most important and best music to come out of our hallowed city over the past sixty years. Each record will be lovingly presented with the care and love that it deserves – each will have unique content. And each will only be available from us. Welcome to The Glasgow School.