QMU, Glasgow, Tue 26 Jan 2010
After several false starts Glasgow has finally been given a chance to experience Glassjaw (the band cancelled a slew of gigs in 2003 due to frontman Daryl Palumbo’s Crohn’s Disease, then went on ‘indefinite hiatus’ from 2004 to pursue other projects). They have a surprisingly loyal fanbase, particularly for a band that hasn’t released an album since 2002’s Worship & Tribute (bar a few snippets on the internet).
Following a slightly shambolic intro, they launch into ‘Tip Your Bartender’, unleashing a searing volley of complex guitar work, funk bass and Palumbo’s unique voice. He’s the definite star of the show, displaying an astounding versatility, going from screamed, impassioned hardcore fury to emotive, crooned rock vocals. Stripped down to a four-piece it’s a fairly static performance apart from Palumbo scampering and thrashing around the sparse stage, upping his game in the final third, even previewing a selection of much anticipated new tracks (including ‘Jesus Glue’ and ‘(You Think You’re) Fucking John Lennon’). With nods to Fugazi and Faith No More, it’s the depth and power of fan favourites, such as the multi-layered ‘Cosmopolitan Blood Loss’, that ensure their enduring reputation lives on.