Glasvegas & Strawberry Ocean Sea – Music Hall – 23/04/11
This is a gig I’d looked forward to for a while, since the last Glasvegas gig in Moshulu to be precise when they headlined a bouncy MTV show with Friendly Fires. A lot has happened since then though so this was to be a very different performance from James Allan & Co.
First up however we have the interestingly named Strawberry Ocean Sea (half OCS half Beatles song? god knows but you can’t help but guess what it’s all about, however it does make for good conversation during the break), anyway, that’s who it was, and its a name I’d seen on line-ups before but not in this neck of the woods. I’m at my worst when I try to compare bands to others but the keyboard within the five piece seemed to give impressions of a mash up of bands from the late eighties to present day. They are certainly very sound musically and I think they know exactly what they’re trying to do (link to their site at the bottom of this page where you can download three free tracks) and look like they could well carry it off if they expand their set list. I didn’t think the sound in the music hall did them any favours though, me or the people around me didn’t know what vocalist Jonny Skinner was saying between songs (why is this so hard to get right? there are loads of comedians that play this venue and never seem to have the problem… or maybe they do?). Hopefully these boys will get a gig in Aberdeen again in the next few months and the sound will be much closer to their recordings this time. They did look miserable though on the night, I put it down to the pissing rain earlier.
So, to the headliners, Glasvegas. A word on that `difficult second album` first though, well third, if you count The Home Tapes demo release. I’ve had Euphoric Heartbreak on daily in the car since it was released and someone sad to me `its a grower`. Hmmm, I can argue that if I have something new to eat and I don’t like it very much then ten days of trying same said food later I can guarantee I still won’t like it very much. Well, that’s EH for me (so far anyway). Sublime lyrics, heart-felt and heart bled words no doubt but it all just blends together really. I want my angry, punchy ‘vegas back.
Pain Pain, The World is Yours and You lead up to It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry and for me its a blessing when we get there. Back to EH for Shine Like Stars, Dream Dream Dreaming, Whatever Hurts You Through The Night and then The Ronettes cover, Be My Baby before we’re back to EH again with Euphoria Take My Hand. It’s no coincidence that the crowd have only half heartedly sung along until this point but finally the Music Hall comes to light with the heavyweight Geraldine, it’s what many have been waiting for and its follow-up Go Square Go is perfectly timed. Ice Cream Van takes us to the very short break and then Flowers and Football Tops gets us back in the mood. James has stopped singing to let the crowd carry the lyrics a few times tonight and it works well with the earlier songs but only the hardcore fans at the front seem to know the words to the newer songs so it all goes a bit odd at times. I Feel Wrong and Lots Sometimes slow it down yet again before the blistering Daddy’s Gone ends the show and remind us what took us along tonight in the first place.
Its been a strange performance, its like it never really got going for me, the new songs just don’t have the energy of the first album at all. Saying that, the new stuff is very Glasvegas, and easily recognisable, just put together as a whole album of it is too much for me. I guess this is where some people would say they’ve moved on but I preferred the faster, singalong, bouncy gig back when Moshulu was still open for business and that’s the gig I’ll remember most in five years time. Still Burning.
Strawberry Ocean Sea
Strawberry Ocean Sea Website (inc free tracks to download)