Glasvegas, Concert Hall, Troon
Friday 14 January 2011
They may have written their forthcoming album, EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\ , at a beach house in California, but Glasvegas's new tracks will surely never sound more at home than on this debut mini-tour of remote Scottish locations in the dead of winter. This band make music to suit a wet Wednesday night on the Ayrshire coast, but it helps if you're surrounded by a few hundred Scots in full voice and off their faces.
Taking the stage to the excerpt of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata used in their song "Stabbed", the band's singer James Allan was looking positively summery in white jeans, vest and dark sunglasses, although the rest of the group retained their familiar black-on-black sartorial style. Alongside Allan's cousin Rab on guitar and bassist Paul Donoghue, their number now includes drummer Jonna Löfgren, who plays her kit with the same standing technique but appreciably more fluency than the previous incumbent Caroline McKay.
Of the dozen songs played in a little over an hour, four were new. The first of these, the set opener and the album's debut download, The World Is Yours, hinted at a more upbeat outlook than might previously have been expected from this lot, with its Bond theme title chorus merged with a fast, thudding bassline and jagged, reverb-sodden guitars. Such cheer didn't last. "A Little Thing Called Fear" wasn't quite Siouxsie and the Banshees, but there was a certain goth gloom in its sparse, repetitive rattle.
"Shine Like Stars" was introduced as "a dancing song", but it's music for a lone, angry jig at chucking-out time. None of this is a bad thing. Glasvegas are a rare band who capture that peculiarly Scottish trait of being all but unable to distinguish between melancholy and joy – hence the album title – and the final new track "Euphoria" snatched yet more epic communal beauty from the jaws of personal despair as effortlessly as established singalong classics "Go Square Go" and "Daddy's Gone".
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