LIFE WITHOUT BUILDINGS Live At The Annandale Hotel (Gargleblast)

Life Without Buildings were a Glaswegian quartet affiliated with the city’s School of Art, who released only one album, “Any Other City” during their brief lifespan. It’s since been joined by “Live At The Annandale Hotel”, a recording of a December 2002 gig in Sydney.

It’s worth the admission fee for singer Sue Tompkins’ deliciously gauche stage banter alone, taking a metaphorical sledgehammer to the cocooning mystique some other bands shelter beneath. Here’s a couple of choice examples to whet your appetite: “We’re here tomorrow so we’re just gonna do the same songs in a different order”, and, on returning for an encore, “We didn’t do anything, we just sort of wiped off some sweat and that was it; sat around for 30 seconds”.

It’s almost a bonus that Life Without Buildings’ music isn’t terrible. They make an untrammelled racket that’s equal parts The Slits and The Pastels, often little more than a canvas for Tompkins to daub her stream-of-consciousness free-associating wordplay over. Not unlike spending an hour ricocheting around a padded cell, “Live At The Annandale” isn’t heavy on old-fangled concepts like hooks, choruses and structure, but the Buildings can still put some rumbling rock dynamics together when required. “Sorrow” is possibly the album’s most conventional moment, a ballad in the style of the third Velvet Underground album, at least until it’s infiltrated by Sue’s verbal jump-cutting.

Not for everybody, “Live At The Annandale Hotel” is still a vital expansion of a slim discography. Essential for fans, it’s still intriguing for the rest of us.