A cold Saturday night in the Morayshire countryside witnessed the return of Glasvegas. The Loft, or to be more accurate, the barn at the back of the Loft, was the venue for the most anticipated gig (so far!) of 2011.
With tickets stating that doors would be open at 6.30, early arrivals were left out in the bitter cold until just after 7, with the support from Iain MacLaughlin setting foot on stage at 8. A solo performance, without his Outsiders, was mainly well received by, at this stage, a full house. His half hour set was full of drive and passion, setting up those gathered for the arrival of Glasvegas.
Glasvegas took to the stage at 9 led by the charismatic enigma that is James Allan, dressed from top to toe in white with the exception of his obligatory shades. It also saw the appearance of new drummer, Jonna Löfgren, who replaced Caroline McKay, who stepped down last summer. For those that were there for their short and somewhat concise appearance at the Raigmore a couple of years back were treated to an hour long set containing a number of songs from their forthcoming new album, “Euphoric Heartbreak”.These were interspersed with the standards, we have all come to know such as Geraldine, Daddy’s Gone and the laddish Go Square Go.
At times the hairs on the back of your neck can stand up with the raw emotion of their delivery, but equally this is countered by moments of sheer self indulgence, in particular coming to the fore in the downbeat rendition of Flowers and Football Tops. James Allan postured, yes, but equally he did not stand aloof, but engaged an eager audience with his banter, and was genuinely appreciative of those attending.
Pretentious maybe, but Glasvegas are a marmite soundtrack to a generation, and, would we want them any other way? Frustratingly brilliant or brilliantly frustrating, you can make your own mind up. Me, I fall into the first camp. Now, it would be a pleasant surprise if they shipped up on the shores of Loch Ness this June, or maybe the ironworks when they announce their full tour….here’s hoping…