Glasvegas at the Garage: On behalf of our generation
Every so often an individual comes along who appears to speak for a generation. In the 90s, Liam Gallagher of Oasis sang about the banality of working class life and in the last decade The Libertines’ Pete Doherty embodied the romantic image of a modern day poet.
While both of these artists are undoubtedly talented, they possess a quality that propels them to the level of idolatry. Over the years, this quality has seen adoring fans fall at their feet at concerts, worshipping them as if they are the truth-speakers of modern times.
Watching Glasvegas’ performance at The Garage in London on 3rd April, it became evident that frontman James Allan could be 2012’s answer to this phenomenon. Despite his all-black attire and imposing muscular physique, his autobiographical lyrics about empathetic social workers, absent fathers and the everyday struggles of a working-class upbringing bestowed an air of vulnerability upon the Glaswegian singer that had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.
The band opened their set with a number of songs from their Mercury Award-nominated debut album Glasvegas. Geraldine, Flowers and Football Tops and It’s My Own Cheating Heart that Makes Me Cry were anthemic, but also hauntingly mesmerising. Their simple and unsophisticated lyrics turn aspects of everyday life into themes of monumental greatness.
The tracks the band performed from their recent album Euphoric Heartbreak didn’t quite create the commotion and excitement in the audience their former songs did. However, it was nevertheless interesting to find the band working towards a more experimental and instrumental sound. The World is Yours and Euphoria Take My Hand show how the band have captured the essence of their debut record and magnified it to produce something that is enigmatic and ethereal, but also understated.
If a lot has been said in the press about Allan’s unpredictable personality and unruly behaviour – reports of a drug overdose, uncontrollable partying, as well as his notorious five-day disappearance in 2009 – Glasvegas’ live performance at The Garage was executed with finesse and self-assurance. The audience observed a band that knew what they were about and were committed to moving forward and testing their limits.
Photos: Chiara Ceccaioni
Watch the video for Flowers and Football Tops here: