Glasvegas: Live At The Academy Nonreview

glasvegasWhy call this a Nonreview? Couple of factors, I rushed from my radio show to the Academy on Thursday 28th April to see Glasvegas.  Getting into the venue at 2050,  I legged it downstairs to Twin Atlantic and caught literally one song, ‘Crash Land’ Great energy and vibe, really liked their sound.

Normally when I go to a gig, I make sure to see the opening act, if I review the gig I think it’s only fair. At this gig, time constraints were against me and this didn’t happen so I went into the main venue as Glasvegas were just starting.

The Academy was pretty packed so I got stuck at the back pretty near the bar. From here I learned a lesson, get to the venue early. If you’re not on the ground floor, The Academy is far from an amazing venue. The sound dims and it seems there are constant flows of people going for beer, which doesn’t help trying to get into a gig.

A couple of things immediately stand out about Glasvegas, they seem to be a very visual band. The stage is filled with colour, the red standing out, while lead singer James Allan has his microphone lead covered in a light or luminous substance which  glows along with his white tshirt under the lights, very striking.

The other is how Jonna Löfgren drums. The new Swedish recruit standing up, almost dancing around her drum kit, makes her very interesting to watch.

The band play tracks from their new album ‘Eurphoric Heartbreak’ and although the album is out four weeks, from audience reaction, not many have bought it or are familiar with the material. Allan acknowledges this and thanks the Academy audience for being patient with the band.

‘You’ has a pounding drumbeat and builds up nicely. The band do a downbeat cover of The Ronette’s ‘Be By Baby’ but its too slow and while the audience are singing along you can feel them urging the B.P.M. to rise. Current single ‘Eurphoria, Take My Hand’, gets an airing but gets a modest response from the audience.

It’s not til ‘Geraldine’ that the crowd gets going, singing along. The mood drops again with ‘Ice Cream Van’ with its synthesized keyboard sound courtesy of Rab Allan.

I’m not sure what it is but at this point I’m still finding it hard to get into Glasvegas’ angst filled set. At certain places throughout the set it’s hard to make out James Allan’s lyrics, a combination of his accent and swimming reverb.

‘Go Square Go’ gets the crowd in full voice singing ‘here we fcuking go’. So much so the band drop all the instruments down for the audience refrain before coming back in on the audience’s cue.

‘Flowers & Football Tops’ doesn’t live up to it predecessor. The band finish the set with the immense ‘Daddy’s Gone’. I’ve never seen Glasvegas before so I’m not sure if it was me on the night or them. I just couldn’t get into the gig and I didn’t feel that the band did much to drag me or any of the audience into it. Left a little bit cold after that.