‘You don’t need me as much as I need you’ bellows James Allan during opener ‘The World is Yours.’ The sense of irony pervades the Bolton Soundhouse venue as we need Glasvegas now like never before. An indie band we can believe in has been thin on the ground since The Libertines exited stage left over 5 years ago. But Glasvegas are back and from the sound of ‘The World is Yours’, back to their barnstorming best; loud reverberating guitars complimented with a raucous performance on vocals from Allan who came on stage with a plain white trouser and jacket combo not forgetting trademark sunglasses, looking every inch the rock'n'roll icon. This performance is of course the start of a tour to support the forthcoming second LP ‘Euphoric///Heartbreak\\\’ a title which sums up the four piece’s sound succinctly. With the album yet to be released, only two new songs were previewed here; ‘The World Is Yours,’ along with ‘Euphoria Take My Hand’ downloadable since February. The latter already has the crowd jumping and again follows the Glasvegas tried and tested template of brooding verses focused on Allan’s melancholy lyrics followed by an exhilarating guitar solo chorus.
The classics from the eponymous debut album are then rolled out to buoyant crowd who sing along word for word passionately. Indeed even the thunderous vocals from Allan are deafened by the crowd during ‘Its My Own Cheating Heart’ that Allan simply gives up and points the microphone towards them. This only highlights what differentiates the Glaswegians from other current bands; the brilliantly open lyrics, at times beautiful at others harrowing but nothing if not intensely personal.
The wall of sound generated by the band make it surprising to see only three musicians behind Allan. Perhaps most impressively from cousin Rab Allan whose sonic reverberating guitar lends much to their signature sound. Back up is provided by the steady Paul Donoghue on bass and new drummer Jonna Löfgren who performs standing on a basic kit to give a ‘Crash Bang Wallop’ style that works well with the band’s output. There are a few surprises thrown in along the way with consecutive covers of ‘Be My little Baby’ and ‘Moonriver’ which momentarily give the night a 60’s revival feel. The Ronettes cover gets the full Glasvegas treatment and is well received, though Moonriver is perhaps a stretch too far. The main set only lasts for 40 minutes but an extended encore included a stripped down version of ‘Flowers and Football Tops’ and ‘Daddys Gone.’
A welcome return for Glasvegas - but a performance heavily reliant on their debut album, and too early to say how successful 2011 will be for the Glaswegians.