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Gig review

Tiny Dancers / Glasvegas

At long last Glasvegas arrive in the capital for a gig, albeit a support slot for tonights headliners Tiny Dancers. Having played last year with Dirty Pretty Things on two sold out nights, it was with great anticipation that I approached the gig and I was not disappointed. From the moment they stride on to the stage looking every inch a classic band, to the first strum of Rab’s guitar, they have already impressed me more than most bands ever have. The sheer brilliance of songs like ‘I’m gonna get stabbed’ and ‘Daddy’s Gone’ have the abililty to pull at your heart strings and punch you in the face simultaneously. Lead singer James, who bares more than a passing resemblance to the late great Joe Strummer sings in his native Dalmarnock twang and you would think it wouldn’t work but it does and some. The haunting ‘Flowers and Football’ is about the tragic death of teenager Kris Donald who died in their neighbourhood, the harmonies and Spector-esque production is sublime and belies their status as an unsigned band. It is little wonder that a certain Mr McGee is so excited about them, he has called them “the best Scottish band since the Mary Chain” and although there will be some who question his judgement these days, I can only say I wholeheartedly agree with him. ‘Go square go’ marries the sound that The Futureheads have been circling around for a while and adds that Glasgow wit with the refrain of “here we, here we, here we fuckin go” a truly wonderful song that I immediately imagined being chanted en masse in the Barrowlands, in fact I will be truly astonished if this does not happen at some point in the future. They play with`a swagger and a confidence that you cannot fake, it is a joy to watch and they leave me with a huge smile on my face as their set crashes to a close.
A hard act to follow for the headliners then but Tiny Dancers begin with the crowd onside.Hailing from Sheffield but looking more like something from mid 70’s America, this country-trad rock band have come from nowhere recently to prominence and this, their first headline tour. Lead singer David, looks like a slightly gaunt He Man with a little bit of Steven Tyler and anything but a North Yorkshire lad. He is absolutely full of energy and really gets the crowd up for it with his enthusiasm and seems genuinely quite humbled to be on stage, a refreshing change from some of the other touring bands who sometimes treat it like a chore rather than enjoyment. Their songs are a mixture of lots of sounds, at times very Crosby Stills And Nash, but they do retain a sense of the modern age with a hint of fellow northerners Doves. They do, however, seem to want to create a unique feel to their sound and set, with small lamps adorning the top of their amps as well as little ornaments and trinkets, you can imagine what their rehearsal room must be like! Indeed at one point, David produces a Polaroid camera and asks the audience to`pose for a picture`which they duly oblige (see their website for the photo) Although my mind does sometimes wander to thoughts of the film Almost Famous and the`pretty annoying band in it, they have songs which reel you back in like ‘Sun goes down’ and new single ‘I will wait for you’ which is a ready made summer anthem. They do seem like the type of band who will appeal across the board and certainly won’t be playing a venue this small on their next visit to these shores.

John Paul Mason