Gig review: Glasvegas, Classic Grand, Glasgow

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THEIR flavour-of-the-month status has long been exhausted and the major label recording contact is a distant memory, but it will take more than the passing of time and fashion for Glasvegas to fall out of favour with their home crowd, who have always been in a unique position when it comes to identifying with frontman James Allan’s cathartic outpourings on the identity crisis of the west of Scotland male.

Last night’s opener, Flowers and Football Tops, about the personal toll of football-related violence, was the quintessential example, combining rock muscularity – the backbone of which was provided by drummer Jonna Lofgren – and a lusty terrace chant sensibility with a more sensitive coda of You Are My Sunshine.

Still, the band were taking no chances with this relatively intimate show, choosing to pack out a small venue rather than risk overstretching themselves in the larger halls their music was conceived to fill.

Allan, meanwhile, was back in black and behind a guitar after his brief experiment as an apprentice Bono, presiding over an opening salvo of favourites from their debut album, before the sparing introduction of some new material.

It sounded like a hopeful return to form, with sky-scraping guitar carried along by a martial beat, while All I Want Is My Baby delivered an instant melodic hit.

A vein-bulging cover of Be My Baby was dispatched more as a howl of anguish than a hopeful invitation. The majority of the set was conducted at such chest-beating pitch, eventually making any variations on the emotional bludgeoning, such as the woozy Ice Cream Van, the rudimentary knees-up of Go Square Go or the simple tunefulness of Daddy’s Gone, feel like a gulp of fresh air.

Rating: ***