Glasvegas, Friendly Fires

Miss Fliss 20/02/2009

If you can stomach yet another review of the mammoth NME tour, here is an in depth insight into Glasvegas alone, as the support bands had me running out of the venue and into a pub over the road!

I don't think this has been said much or even at all, but Caroline Mckay is a truly captivating and talented drummer - those drums, the heralding of those two-time and three-time, tribal, simple drums - we're bestowed an epiphany. It cannot be emphasised enough how crucial her rhythms are - she thunders with impeccable and prominent power, her arms two great pins against waist-high bass drum, shimmering tambourines and crashing cutting cymbals. Let's hear it for lady drummers, more of them please!

As for leader James Allan, the front rows are wild with worship, there is a thicket of skyward raised arms reaching for him in religious adoration - all that is missing is an altar right in front of his mic spot. Holy music pours in with static magic, and anthem after anthem dramatically fills the airwaves with heartbreaking melody. First it's the pounding grind of Geraldine, surely the only fond ode ever to be written about a social worker.

It's the key quintet of singles that prick up collective ears and inspire open mouths of hearty sing alongs. It's my Own Cheating Heart that Makes me Cry - the universal tale of straying or betraying, being pissed and pathetic - and the swelling well of the emotion of the keen pain of all the guilt and regret has never hit so hard as in these 3 minutes of shimmer glitter burst guitars and sobbing aftermath vocals.

Nevermind that a good number of the crowd come from loving homes with reliably doting fathers, Daddy's Gone still hits home with apocalyptic aplomb and leaves us wrought with resonance.

Under the glitter of firework-like lights, the four figures on stage are dark black shadows shaped like imposing Gods. Glasvegas are cheered after with adoring rapture, and it's clear this is their time. In their cannon, Glasvegas have songs that sound cinematic perfect or as if in dream yet combined with kitchen sink lyrics to holler at pub closing time. Scupper thoughts that they are just some populist or NME hype band, this is gut music, all heart and shine and anthemic emotive bluster that cuts you up inside and then damn it if it doesn't bubble up and heal you too.