Review – Glasvegas at Richard’s on Richards, Vancouver, Jan 11 2009
– review by Kate Reid
I thought maybe Glasvegas‘ sound was like their namesake, all intentional, tongue-in-cheek, glossy Vegas bombast, but now I wonder if I gave the band too much credit. Oh well, I’m not the only one with high hopes for the Glasgow act. NME lauds them like they’re the next Oasis (kinda like it does with every band) and a couple Glasvegas singles (“Flowers and Football Tops” is one) have showed up on Pitchfork’s download list, giving the impression there really is something to this band.
Groupies, Flowers and Football Tops
Let me save you the trouble – there isn’t. If you dig blinding lights, indecipherable lyrics and arena-style rock, you’re not alone I do, to- o. I don’t, however, like those things when they’re a put-on. Glasvegas could be great, but instead it’s just boring. It’s one thing to deliver up the rock clichés, but the band looked silly sweating through their leather jackets in the overheated club and the epileptic lights were unnecessary. A friend of a friend even made out with lead singer James Allen in the tour bus. Ooh, they have groupies, they MUST be legit! You get the impression these guys heard they were going to be big so they leafed through the rock ‘n’ roll handbook and got down to business.
Allen’s Scottish grit adds some much needed flavour, but after a while even that seems like a tired gimmick – sorry dude, I know you can’t help the accent – and half the time you can’t hear his voice over the wall of sound. This wall of sound, and the fact that both bands are from Scotland, has led to a lot of unwarranted Jesus and Mary Chain comparisons.
Not Jesus and Mary Chain
PLEASE, Glasvegas is light years away from the masterful layering and genius subtleties of a Jesus and Mary Chain record. I want Glasvegas to be that good, and hey, maybe one day they could be, but right now, I just see a lot of gloss and no substance. Oh yeah, and before the show I heard their rumbling cover of Nirvana‘s “Come As You Are”. It was pretty good – maybe they should stick to playing other people’s songs.