Gig review of Glasvegas + Thomas Tantrum
Live at Cockpit on Saturday, 13th September 2008
Quote from myself 5 months ago in my Glasvegas review from the 13th June Cockpit gig...
"Glasvegas were absolutely brilliant and deserving of all the hype. Unfortunately that means I'll never get the chance to see them in a venue the size of the Cockpit again, but this is a band going onto bigger things..."
Well what do I know?!
The Cockpit was of course packed from the moment we went in and it was probably the most varied crowd I've seen. There were couples, indie kids, excitable girlies, moshers and even a group of 30 something blokes. Glasvegas fans come from all walks of life it would appear.
But first up were Thomas Tantrum and they were actually really good. They're a four piece band fronted by a female, about whom my friend commented 'looks like a Viking.' Granted headbands under the fringe aren't quite the fashion accessory they were but she pulled it off quite well. Musically it was a modern sounding set with lots of punky duelling guitars and pounding drum beats, but it seemed to me that there was a lot of history in their music. A lot of the songs sounded quite bluesy in their baselines which made for lots of head nodding and toe tapping but they mixed this with jerky guitars and it made a good mix. There was plenty of jumping about and jamming on the stage and the energy could be felt on the floor. 'Work It' was probably their most instantaneous song which has a hook that is catchy as hell but the whole set was enjoyable.
But it was Glasvegas everyone was here to see and the room was full well before they came onto the stage. Before the gig review though I'll just rant that I hate it at a gig when you've been stood near the front all night and then just as the band come on some idiot squeezes into the tiniest spot in front of you!
Anyway back to the gig, Glasvegas were even better than their last visit to the Cockpit. Last time they were surrounded by dry ice and a red light, this time the light show was a lot more impressive. People might say that lights don't really add anything to a gig but they made the whole set seem more impressive and the lighting crew did a brilliant job.
Musically the band were as tight as ever. With the album released the Monday previously the crowd seemed to know all the songs and opener 'Flowers & Football Tops' is the perfect set opener. Goosebumps ran down my spine from the first verse and were there pretty much all through the set. The band are clearly on top of their game as they ripped through the set with great energy and passion. James Allan is perhaps the most intriguing frontman of recent years. There is little banter between songs (although to be fair with his accent it is hard to understand him sometimes!) but when he's performing he pours his heart into it. He believes in what he's singing and it's this realness that really shines through on stage.
Every song was brilliant and how often can you say that a gig? 'Lonesome Swan' sounded particularly epic and 'Polmont On My Mind' was immense. The crescendo at the end just made my hairs stand on end. Allan's lyrics are from the heart but the music is so strong he could be writing about anything and the songs would still sound amazing. Allan snarled through 'Geraldine' and gave the song a new dimension that left the crowd jumping by the end. 'Go Square Go' is a song about bullying and is probably their punkiest song. The '... here we fucking go' chant at the end of the song is now almost a Glasvegas anthem and the whole Cockpit was rocking singing along as Allan stepped away from the mic and soaked it all up.
The biggest sing along is saved for perennial closer 'Daddy's Gone' and the room reverberated with the sound of everyone singing along before Allan joined in to end the set and the show. Again, the performance was just hair-raising and by the end of the show I walked away feeling I had seen something really special. Allan and Glasvegas have the world at their feet now. The bassist and guitarist didn't stay still all night as they prowled about the stage and the drummer seemed a calming influence on things. The band are a great mix but it's clearly the enigmatic Allan who will take most of the spotlight. I looked at him throughout the gig and we almost zoned out completely immersed in the music. He walked off the stage slapping his chest and blowing kisses at the fans and this is undoubtedly his calling in life. With a gig in Leeds Met in December (I already have my tickets of course) I think it's now fair to say that they will not be visiting the Cockpit again!
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On 23rd October 2008 at 12:14 Anonymous 7192 wrote...
2 bands associated with this article.