Glasvegas – Glasvegas – SonyBMG

Louise Irving

Glasvegas are hotly tipped to be the new Franz Ferdinand, although where they have obtained this label is somewhat unclear. Certainly, their self-titled, long awaited-for debut album showcases the Glasgow of today – our football culture, bad language and loneliness – but there are also tales of social workers, stabbings, parents leaving their children, and cheating in relationships, covering a wide range of problems faced by society in general: a huge leap and bound away from the art-rock credentials of Alex Kapranos and company.

The album stands out from other Scottish contemporaries such as The Fratellis, most obviously because of the broad Glasweigan accent of singer James Allan, who often sings in a spoken manner.

In ‘Flowers And Football Tops’, which has a definite SECC-feel to it; not unlike the rest of the album, “football” becomes “fit-baw” and “police”… as dear old Ricky Fulton used to say, the “polis”. Written as a response to the brutal murder of teenager Kriss Donald, the track sets the distinctly melancholy tone of the entire album, most apparent in the likes of “Daddy’s Gone,” a powerful lament over absentee parents.

Despite the truly cumbersome name, ‘It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry’ is a fantastically executed piece of music – understated, sorrowful verse lyrics from James Allen contrast well with the soaring guitar of the chorus, building into a heart-felt, powerful finale. Depending on which side of Glasgow you come from, the album could be either an afront to our accents, or exactly what you’ve been looking to connect with for all these years; tellingly, the band are from the East End. Glasvegas are riding on a wave of media frenzy, a number two album, and sell-out tours, recently playing our very own QMU to a full house – judging from this album, the hype, in this case, may well be justified.


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