September 25 2008
NOT since the “78 World Cup have so many in the city pretended they were Scottish, singing along in mock Glaswegian to James Allan's songs of stabbings, infidelity, social workers, absent fathers and bullies.
Some trickier than others.
"Liar, liar, liar, liar, liar, pants on fi-re" during It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry was easy, as was the forlorn close to Flowers & Football
Tops: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey.”
Easiest of all is the terrace chant of Go Square Go: "here we, here we, here we
Hard to think that Allan is being pitched as an adept lyricist, based on these samples.
“Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are,” he moans on S.A.D.
Lite. But not everything he scribes is lifted.
Geraldine for instance, appears to be a love song: “When you’re standing on the window ledge, I’ll pull you back, back from the edge,” but is then revealed that Geraldine is “your social worker.”
The accent is trickier during set closer and clear favourite Daddy’s Gone: "AlI I wanned was a kackaboot in tha pairk" required a degree of pronunciated effort .
“Fair yu ta ress me haim when it was nelly gettin' dairk,” he continues as the abandoned son.
Whatever the quality of his lyrics it’s Allan’s tunes that have made Glasvegas the best new band of 2008. Epic, passionate and uber:cool, The Jesus & Mary Chain meets Phil Spector.
Guitars build in to a squall, then crunch into the chorus, like on the set closer Daddy’s Gone, with all the impact of a Glasgow kiss.
With just one ten track album to their name it was never going to be a mammoth set -- the narrated Stabbed was omitted -- but at £8 a go, only those who'd paid over the odds to get in to this sold-out show (£30 on eBay this week), would have cause for complaint that they were on stage for just
Tubby tub thumper Caroline McKay was barely visible at the rear of a foggy, darkly lit stage. All are in the black uniform so reminiscent of the JMC. What we can see of her is a novice, concentrating hard on punching the right beats on her three piece kit. Bassist Paul Donoghue is similarly studious while Rab Allan weaves around with his guitar threatening to take someone's eye out.
James Allen, shades in place -- though he succumbs for a second when the crowd chant for him to “show us your eyes” -- looks like a young Joe Strummer and says little. There’s a ‘hello, Nottingham’ and the occasional ‘thanks’. At one point he says something that excites the yoof to my right who, wide-eyed, passes on the garbled message to his mates: “Wow, he bigged us up!”. It’s too easy to impress kids these days.
Then, all too soon, it was over.
Even when the crowd sparked up a chant of: “He’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone... ooh hor hor horrrrr...” they’re not coming back. They've gone.
Glasvegas have bigger fish to fry -- next week they’re off to have a crack at the States. But they’ll be back in the Winter, including the Trent Uni S.U. on December 3supported by White Lies.
Catch them if you can. Because it’ll soon be the Arena.
Flowers And Football Tops
It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry
Polmont On My Mind
Go Square Go
Ice Cream Van