The Vaselines and Emma Pollock (5 stars)

The Vaselines and Emma Pollock

Mono, Glasgow, Thu 24 Apr


‘We’re The Vaselines,’ chirps Eugene Kelly by way of introduction. And perhaps, given that he and Frances McKee are backed by four members of Belle and Sebastian, this is as much to prevent any confusion. The significance of this reunion is such that – apart from short solo appearances from both McKee and Kelly – ‘support’ for the show is Emma Pollock, whose full-band set is itself worth the entrance fee alone (the evening, rock history-making aside, is a benefit for a Malawian orphanage programme).

The turbo-charged headliners put to bed any memories of less-than-stellar past gigs – thanks to the band who reinvented their twee, slightly shambling indie pop with Belle and Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson, Bob Kildea, Richard Colburn and Sarah Martin adding flesh to the simple chord structures and boy-girl harmonies found in The Vaselines’ back catalogue. In particular, three songs recorded by Nirvana: ‘Son of a Gun’, ‘Molly’s Lips’ and ‘Jesus Don’t Want Me for a Sunbeam’ unsurprisingly receive a response befitting a Second Coming. Next stop Seattle, for another display of what Kurt Cobain saw in them in the first place.

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