Glasvegas // Live Review

Scala – October 2nd


Glasvegas’ latest album has managed to reclaim a level of their former glory, but tonight at Scala it’s still the old stuff inciting the action.

Opening with the leading single from new album, ‘Later… When The Tv Turns To Static’, the band throw all in all they’ve got, but throughout the emotion-soaked strains, bodies are worryingly stagnant.  For a moment though, the personality clash ends , ‘Geraldine’ is the first ice-breaker with the intro acting as a calling card for a baggy mosh-pit. Another newie follows and the majority drop back into a lull or end up busily swilling their pints, it all carries on in this stop-start manner.

Luckily though, the Glaswegian’s reality check comes with their subject matter, gritty estates, death and bastards; it’s this that grapples and jars us. Tender piano notes of ‘I’d Rather Be Dead Than Be With You’, come like the emotional scene of Trainspotting, you know – when he’s on the floor in the middle of the road, with Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’ playing; that’s the poignant bit of tonight. This intimate moment pressed against the lashings of ‘Go Square Go’ soon get the majority flexing their pitches to the footy chant of ‘here we, here we, here we fucking go’, with a few onboard; it’s tricky not to grimace.

Clad in rock get-up, the band themselves are still in favour of the leather jackets and sunglasses look, and singer ‘James Allan’ looks like a direct relation of Joe Strummer as dry ice creeps around the ankles of his skinny jeans. Strikingly, he says “what shall I play now?” After an unclear bellowing, he grins, “did you say ‘Flowers And Football Tops’?” “No-one said that!” comes a response. Standing alone, just vocals and guitar the morbid ballad is rolled off. ‘Daddy’s Gone’, ‘Ice Cream Van’ and others from the debut come home like a birthday present, but the thick Scottish accent which undoubtedly acts as a charm on track, gets a drop tiring towards the end of the set…

Despite the gig having regular flurries of brilliance, the main part failed to excite, for now; we’ll be making do with the band on-track.

Buy: Glasvegas – Later…When The TV Turns To Static