Official Secrets Act (3 stars)

Official Secrets Act

Jerky English indie quartet Official Secrets Act’s debut album Understanding Electricity is suggestive of a band with intelligence and melodies to burn – like The Futureheads or Bloc Party, or Razorlight with their brains in the right place rather than somewhere near their scrotums. Yet, the quartet looked surprisingly short of charm and confidence live, and fell victim to the withering effect that semi-circle of doubt at the front of a crowd can have on relatively unknown bands.

And it wasn’t hard to see why people were standoffish. OSA’s get-up (ruffled shirts and coloured streaks daubed beneath their eyes, Adam and The Ants-style) hinted at a band who spend longer at the mirror than in the rehearsal room, and they faded into the background as things didn’t go their way. Yet, they do have some fine tunes – ‘The Girl From the BBC’ smartly channels all kinds of sprightly British new wave bands, and you could land a whale with the jumbo hooks on ‘So Tomorrow’. OSA are good songwriters, but still some way off translating that into being a good band.

Oran Mor, Glasgow, Sat 25 Apr

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