The Rapture, Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow

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The Independent Culture

New York is so last year. Where, once upon a time, the style mafia got their Calvin Kleins in a twist over skinny-tie Downtown rock bars and grittily industrial Brooklyn electro clubs (best exemplified by, respectively, The Strokes and The Rapture), the rise of Franz Ferdinand as flavour of 2004 means that the more authentic streets of Glasgow are - however fleetingly - being viewed as the prime breeding ground for emergent talent.

New York is so last year. Where, once upon a time, the style mafia got their Calvin Kleins in a twist over skinny-tie Downtown rock bars and grittily industrial Brooklyn electro clubs (best exemplified by, respectively, The Strokes and The Rapture), the rise of Franz Ferdinand as flavour of 2004 means that the more authentic streets of Glasgow are - however fleetingly - being viewed as the prime breeding ground for emergent talent.

At least that's the consensus of choice among those who like to remain two steps ahead of the herd, and consequently hang all their hopes on whichever hook suits their tastes this month. For those who listen to the music for its own sake, of course, the reality is not so cast in concrete, and there are many areas where the current musical machinery of each city bleeds together.

The Rapture's lead singer Luke Jenner feels this, as evidenced when he tells the crowd early on, "Thank you, Glasgow... it's good to be home." He's about as Scottish as a Panama hat and a Cuban cigar, but this is The Rapture's fourth visit to Glasgow in the last year - since playing Sunday night's seminal Optimo, a club that puts most of what Brooklyn can offer to shame - and the city has obviously made an impression on them. The feeling is mutual, and the well-liquored Glasgow crowd greets NYC's finest foursome with a welcome that can only be described as - what else? - rapturous.

Before even a note has been struck, the first impression we have of the night is that the stage decor is wildly over the top. With plumes of white balloons fencing the stage and a similarly pale curtained backdrop, it was probably more suited to an evening in GAY than a Scottish spit 'n' snakebite student union.

Still, it does perfectly suit The Rapture's constructive ethic - minimal, pumping club anthems recreated on drums and guitar, with an organic, lyrical purity at their heart. This last point is echoed in the amount of times the word "love" appears in their song titles, and Jenner's ready confession that he's happily married and settled down, already shying away from the hedonistic weekend lifestyle that his band soundtrack.

As to whether the other three - Mattie Safer, bass; Vito Roccoforte, drums; Gabe Andruzzi, saxophone/percussion - have given up on the party credo is another matter, but they're certainly more than familiar with the sounds that make people move. This is capably demonstrated very early on, with the introduction of their biggest crossover anthem "House of Jealous Lovers" (possibly the cowbell's finest moment in rock), and the pumping Detroit techno dynamics of "Olio". Both are classics, which raises the question, how will they follow them up?

With ease is the answer, and with the excitable verve of young men still flushed by the very thought of making music. "I Need Your Love" pounds with righteous force, the new song "Pieces of the People" continues their fine lineage of disco stompers, and "Out of the Races and onto the Tracks" is their classic that got away.

Which is all evidence that The Rapture are moving away from the hype margins and into the realms of that which people truly grow to love. Saturday night wouldn't be the same without them.

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