There seems to be a resurgence of the OG scene bands. Only last week we were covering Funeral For A Friend being supported by Dashboard Confessional. Tonight it’s the turn of another Welsh gift to fans of hair straighteners and thick eye liner… Kids In Glass Houses.
Not seen since 2014, the band were a slightly lighter alternative to their post-hardcore counterparts. Now, back on the scene to celebrate the 15th anniversary (and subsequent reissue) of debut album ‘Smart Casual’ – can they make a room like The Galvanizers in SWG3 move like they used to?
The one support for tonight is The Nightmares; a band whose name rang a bell from the promo for Creeper’s upcoming show. That suggests to me that we’re going to see them make the journey up here from their Welsh hometown often. Although towards the end of the set our singer says they’re coming back in March…… so maybe a different Nightmares?
The Nightmares walk on a pitch black stage with candles on the amplifiers to an eerie recording of The Pixies’ ‘In Heaven (Everything Is Fine)’. The music isn’t as heavy as I’d expect from a group draped in black – the bassist looking like Matt Berry’s character in What We Do In The Shadows. The first song seems to steal the hook from Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’. There’s a cover of The Smashing Pumpkins ‘1979’ which doesn’t quite soar as much as the original.
The singer in his black leather jacket and sunglasses couldn’t help but remind me of Glasvegas. The vocals are a bit nasal and everything struggles to get out of third gear. A band called The Nightmares who look like a group of vampires should sound like it in my book. I wanted early My Chemical Romance but was left kinda deflated afterwards.
The lights go out and we get the dialogue from Back To The Future selling the new sound to Chuck Berry followed by a radio skipping channels playing songs such as ‘Don’t Call it a Comeback’ and ‘The Bitch Is Back’ before the long-lost heroes grace the stage once again. From the first count in to opener ‘Fisticuffs’ the crowd are eating out of the hand of singer Aled Phillips. He moves about the stage seemingly having to hold himself back from just throwing himself into the crowd. Standing on speaker stacks laid out across the front of the stage and leaning forward to the crowd of fans that are grabbing at the air for him.
The music has stood the test of time. Aled’s vocals are pretty much spot on. This is as close as we’re going to get to hearing anyone sound like Daryl Palumbo from Glassjaw live ever again… Daryl included. As he moves through the set list (the birthday album in full) there’s some insane high notes being hit and the dancing isn’t sacrificed for them.
The set is fast paced with each song following on to the next and the fans are all for it. It’s not often that you can sense an actual thirst from a crowd, but that’s what I got here. Nearly ten years off the radar has made the heart grow fonder and it shows. The fondness is rewarded with an encore of hits and fan favourites such as ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’, ‘Peace’, and set finisher ‘Matters At All’.
Kids in Glass Houses were never the biggest band of their genre the first time round but tonight they proved that the legacy isn’t going anywhere. After a decade away they’ve managed to pick up where they left off with a little nostalgic boost. Now all the fans have to do is wait to see if any new material is on the horizon.
Photos by Catching Light Photography