“What’s it been like,” inquired singer James Allan towards the end of his band’s set. “Has it been all right?” The question didn’t seem rhetorical as he waited there for a response, a somewhat uncertain reaction from a wiry guy in a bodybuilder’s vest with a subdued Elvis haircut and a broad Dalmarnock accent.
Liquid Room, Edinburgh
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Yet, following on from the loss of credibility and their record contract in the wake of second album EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\’s failure (it’s not that bad, aside from the laboured text format), there’s an air of make or break about upcoming third album Later… When the TV Turns to Static. It remains unclear whether a concert this size should have been classed as low-key or precisely the right level in their current world, but it was certainly the best situation in which to see them – dark, intimate and stagily oppressive, with two screens projecting old film footage on either side of the band and spotlights picking Allan out.
There was a broad split of tracks from all three albums, with EUPHORIA’s Lots Sometimes proving more memorable than the ostensible hit of that record, Euphoria, Take My Hand and the new record’s most Glasvegas-titled I’d Rather Be Dead (Than Be With You) and All I Want is My Baby (song delicately solo and acoustic by Allan) complementing the best of their early hits. Of course it’s the football-chant quality of Geraldine, Go Square Go and Daddy’s Gone that will keep their crowds bulked out, but the remains of their populism shouldn’t detract from the fact Allan remains a songwriter of enduring ability and emotional weight.