After an eight-year recording hiatus partially enforced by guitarist Ally McErlaine’s recovery from a brain aneurysm, it might be time to offer the largely critically unheralded Texas a spot of reappraisal.
Texas - King Tut’s, Glasgow
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With their lengthiest flush of fame coming during the tailend years of Britpop, such an earthy and male-dominated milieu, the Glasgow-born group have been viewed for much of their post-fame lives as purveyors of glossy and insubstantial pop music.
So to see them hitting the comeback trail with a low-key but high-energy set in the tiny confines of a packed-out King Tut’s is to witness them in a manner not many fans will be familiar with. There’s an earthy informality to the group, not least Spiteri, dressed in simple black jeans, black, Gram Parsons-style flower-embroidered shirt and a short black haircut. She’s a winning performer, claiming of McErlaine “his wife’s going to kick the **** out of him” for drinking wine before the suitably country-sad new track Dry Your Eyes, placing her own order for “a wee whisky, no ice” with a fan for delivery during Inner Smile’s liveliest chorus and bursting into a couple of verses of Johnny Cash’s Jackson because she felt like it.
Yet the real point that demands to be made about Texas is just how excellent a live vocalist Spiteri is. The Dolly Parton twang of new song Big World and hits like When We Are Together, Black Eyed Boy and I Don’t Want a Lover were delivered with a textured combination of confidence, tenderness and raw, soulful power, as was a frankly stunning closing cover of River Deep Mountain High. That this was the case may have been unexpected, but it was certainly welcome.