2nd Feb 2013
Glasvegas recently played a triumphant Kilmarnock gig, one which went down so well it left our man eagerly anticipating their next album.
I remember 6 or 7 years ago I went to see Morrissey play at Paisley Town Hall. It was the first time I had ever been in that venue which rarely puts on gigs and the venue, almost as much as the gig, totally blew me away with its style and old fashioned grandeur.
Likewise the Grand Hall, Kilmarnock was a venue I had never been in until Saturday’s Glasvegas gig and it had been some time since it had had the presence of a big rock n roll band within its lovely and recently refurbished walls. If we were reviewing the venue it would be getting at least an 8 out of ten so the omens for the gig were good.
On to what we are reviewing however, the excellent Glasvegas, one of Glasgows recent success stories, a little diamond plucked from the many gems on the cities live music scene, gems who all have the potential for far greater things – Vigo Thieves, Mhazz, Father Son, Amazing Snakeheads, Foxgang and Brown Bear and The Bandits to name but 5.
In my opinion Glasvegas should easily be as big as Biffy Clyro have recently become but thankfully age is still on their side. After all, Led Zep didn’t even make it until their 4th album had been released so lets hope Glasvegas new 3rd album, muted for a May or June release, is the one that finally takes them to the International success they undoubtedly deserve with their dark yet melodious Phil Spector meets The Jesus and Mary Chain rock n roll.
The band take to the stage which has a backdrop of old black and white movies that will feature as the night progresses, everything from surfing jack russels to ballroom dancing to The Supremes but it is the music we are here for not the venues architecture or the undoubtedly interesting old black and white movies.
Tonights aural extravaganza begins as if the band were sending us a message of what to expect with – “Euphoria Take My Hand” getting tonight’s proceedings underway followed by another track from their last album entitled “The World Is Yours” – and it certainly still can be.
Even at this early juncture Johanna’s pounding drumming sends a pulse throughout the hall and already has everyone’s feet tapping and head’s nodding to her drum beat. It is this aspect of the band’s live performances that is the major improvement when seeing them play these days, she just adds something else even though their previous drummer was also another top quality female drummer too.
Next up was “Its My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry” followed by the newest song of the set so far called “IF” which first surfaced last year in early Spring and was influenced by texts between James and their early mentor and supporter, Ex Creation Records supremo AJ McGee when James had been particularly low and depressed and AJ encouraged him to embrace his black moods and turn them into something great.
After “IF” we are treated to “Please Come Back Home” followed by “Whatever Hurts You Through The Night” then a sublime version of ” Flowers and Football Tops” which finishes with a strobe lighting extravaganza.
As we reach what in football parlance would be half time we get “YoungBlood” followed in the second half by “Dream Dream Dreaming” and my 2nd favourite Glasvegas song “Geraldine” where we have Johanna almost hypnotising us with the intensity of her stand up as well as stand out drumming but by now the band are relentless and “Ice Cream Van” then “Go Square Go” take us to a crescendo of bliss before Glasvegas exit the stage to yet another strobe lighting explosion.
On their return for encore Glasvegas give us the second brand new song which is also rumoured to be the title track of their forthcoming new album. It is already clearly different as Paul Donohue takes to the keyboards for “I’d Rather Be Dead” and is very well recieved by an audience now in raptures.
The band finish tonights Edition Festival performance with my favourite GVx song “Daddys Gone” which has the same heart wrenching effect it always has and so Glasvegas are off into the Kilmarnock night and off to the now obligatory aftershow party at the towns Bakers Nightspot.
This is still a band who could go global and although somehow you get the feeling Glasvegas have never really wanted to be filling or becoming stadium rockers I’m sure they still want global success so if you judge tonight’s gig as any kind of yardstick that success still isn’t beyond Glasvegas. Whether the new album will indeed be called “I’d Rather Be Dead” is still to be seen but after tonight’s performance I’ve got a funny feeling the band from Glasgow’s Barrowfield probably still want to live at least until this new album comes out.
Out of 7 or 8 previous gigs I’ve seen Glasvegas, and the 3rd in as many months, they are playing better than they have ever played so lets hope the new album, whatever it is finally called, is as well recieved critically as the band were here in Kilmarnock tonight. Viva Glasvegas.
All words by David Speirs. More writing by David onÂ Louder Than War can be found here.