Your New Favourite Band

  • The Midgie
  • 1 October 2008

No.1: Glasvegas

Glasvegas were iconic before any of us had even heard of them. Discovered by Alan McGee (who was out with Dirty Pretty Things’ Carl Barat at the time) in Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the band must have known they were on the cusp of something special from that moment on. King Tut’s, after all, was also the venue in which McGee signed Oasis on the spot 15 years ago. Yet the Glasgow quartet are a far cry from the eradefining Manchester rock stars. Whereas the Gallaghers sang of escape with bolshy, strutting optimism, and were inspired by a mixture of John Lennon and Johnny Rotten, Glasvegas skulk in the backstreets. Band members James and Rab Allen (who are brothers), Paul Donoghue and Caroline McKay have taken inspiration for their look and sound from rock’n’roll icons of the past 60 years. Their sound smashes the rough Glaswegian folk-blues of James’ vocals into a stunning, Phil Spector-style wall of sound.

Perhaps unfeasibly for a band whose key references come from the 50s, and who remain so unmistakeably Caledonian, Glasvegas were given the Philip Hall Radar Award for Best Newcomer at this year’s NME Awards, while their recently rereleased single ‘Daddy’s Gone’ was named the second best of 2007 by the same magazine. The song is a weather-beaten riff on absentee fathers. Social workers, knife crime and detention centre kids also find their way into the Glasvegas catalogue – rarely has suburban unhappiness sounded so epic.

Glasvegas’ self-titled debut album is out now on Columbia.

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