ABC2 was obviously booked for Glasvegas before their Jools Holland performance, NME front cover and Columbia swept them upwards. Ticket prices shot up on ebay to £25 to £35 but everyone knows it’s going to be the last time they’re likely to see their hometown band play a small venue in their hometown.
There is a buzz in the air, genuine excitement and enthusiasm for what we all know the Glasgow band are going to go on and achieve. The venue is heaving with folk standing on chairs and the crowd pushing forward with chants of, “here we, here we, here we fucking go” the classic line from Go Square Go! The place erupts as the band come on under a haze of red lights and smoke and they break into ‘Flowers and Football Tops’.
It’s fair to say that many Scots are dubious about bands singing in a colloquial accent (naturally after The Proclaimers) but Glasvegas do it brilliantly. It would be fake and disingenuous to sing about working class Glasgow scheme life in an accent any other than theirs. They’re real and honest and that’s part of their appeal.
‘Geraldine’ is a perfect example of what to expect to from Glasvegas. The phenomenal wall of sound that would make Phil Spector weak at the knees is tune-full of angst and passion. A song about a drug counselor’s relationship with her ‘case’ getting too serious has lead singer, James Allan giving his all. The definite feeling that the lyrics are based on real life coupled with the constant guitar and pounding drums makes them a fiercely raw and intense band.
It’s on ‘Daddy’s Gone’ that the band relax a little and seem to take stock of what’s happening around them. For the climax the guitars stop and the guitars quieten as every member of the audience chants, “he’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone”. Drummer Caroline McKay has the biggest grin on her face as she gazes round the room at all the people singing back every word to their song.
Every once in a while you come out of a gig thinking you’ve seen something special, something that gives you goose pimples from beginning to end: this was certainly one of them.