Glasvegas – Monday July 25, The Hi-Fi Bar

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Glasvegas – Monday July 25, The Hi-Fi Bar


Grandiosity is often viewed with distain, but it’s not always aligned with exaggerated sentimentality or graceless grandeur. At best, it’s a pure and uplifting exertion of our strongest sentiments and a shameless expression of our humanistic vulnerabilities. Glasvegas wear their heart on their sleeve and what most fans define as heartfelt and earnest, others will view as hackneyed and sentimental. No one could deny that James Allan’s vocals weren’t hitting the mark for the first few tracks, but accusations that his demeanour was forced and that of a poseur are completely unfounded. Such a criticism would imply that there was an embedded image or coolness attached to Glasvegas, which there clearly isn’t. They weave tales of hometown violence, loss, depression and self-identity through gloriously atmospheric compositions.

The emotive Scots opened in exactly the same fashion as their sophomore album, Euphoric Heartbreak – with intro instrumental Pain Pain, Never Again and the wide-screen pop epics, The World Is Yours and You. Three songs in, the Glaswegian quartet were evidently overwhelmed by the sight of a packed venue on their debut Australian tour. As fans sang along to each word of It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry with feverish gusto, the charismatic frontman – dressed in full white and black sunglasses – redirected his microphone to the adoring crowd in disbelief.

Allan made up for the slow start with impressive performances of Euphoria, Take My Hand, Geraldine and the night’s most moving performance – the sparse, intimate and melancholy strains of Ice Cream Van. The majestic chorus of Whatever Hurts You Through The Night almost tore through the ceiling, but such gems from their second album remain underappreciated. For most punters, it was all about Glasvegas’ memorable self-titled debut album. No one was left untouched by the performance of their anthem on absent fathers, Daddy’s Gone, which remains their most emotive and universal hit. Glasvegas aren’t the most animated and stimulating live performers (suave bowtie-wearing drummer Jonna Löfgren was the most sprightly of the four), but they’re as humble, earnest and heartfelt as musicians come.

Loved: James Allan’s charming banter as delivered through his remarkably thick Scottish brogue.

Hated: Would’ve loved to hear Polmont On My Mind, I Feel Wrong or Stronger Than Dirt.

Drank: Fat Yak