Glasvegas at XOYO
Instrumentally adequate but lyrically lacking variety, fans seem unfazed and enthused as Glasvegas perform at XOYO in East London.
Led vocally by James Allan and backed with Rab Allan on guitar, Paul Donoghue on bass guitar, and Jonna Lӧfgren on drums, the Scottish indie band open energetically with Flowers and Football Tops from their self-titled debut album. The reception is animated for such sorrowful content but the crowd scream back the lyrics to James (“Baby, baby, why you?”), simply excited to hear one of their hits. The last verse of the song incorporates their rendition of You Are My Sunshine and although it is fitting with the subject matter, it simply sounds unoriginal. Furthermore, the initial upbeat tone juxtaposed with the slower end breaks the flow and sounds disjointed, like two separate songs.
It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry is another fan favourite that is so welcomed by the audience that James is able to just stop singing and simply let them carry the verse. This number seems to have more depth and his voice is quite commanding but with lines like “Liar, liar, liar, liar, pants on fire” it’s difficult to take seriously.
If from their newest album Later…When the TV Turns to Static shows some diversity acoustically with Lӧfgren increasing the tempo on drums to create a more upbeat, dance-like number. Conversely, the lyrics are overly romanticised, as James repeats the chorus: “If our love were ever to part ways, then the world as I know it would never ever spin again”. The subject matter simply isn’t for everyone but the fans present are thrilled.
Additionally, much of the material they chose to play sounds quite similar, with only a few tracks that stand out. Dream Dream Dreaming however, features a compelling and interesting riff by Rab that grabs your attention and makes you want to sway to the music. I’d Rather Be Dead Than Be With You comes off as quite sincere, as you can hear the bitterness and disdain in his words. The crowd remains still for this number, taking in his emotion.
In a four-track encore to finish off the night, we see James solo on stage for All I Want is My Baby. The slow pace of the song has the audience growing restless but when the band returns for Lots Sometimes, they’re singing along again to the repetitive chorus.
Photos: Alberto Martinez Bracero
For further information and future events visit Glasvegas’s website here.
Watch the video for It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry here: