Glasvegas, Them:Youth, Jem Cooke

Miss Fliss 30/10/2009

I was almost as excited at the prospect of my premiere experience of The Ruling Class as I was about seeing Glasvegas in an intimate setting. Though the mood dampened a tad in the wait which became interminable in an uncomfortable club full of pretentious posers. Dour faced bouncers on the door, plus a cordoned off red carpet entrance as if Kate Moss or her ilk were expected, it was the sort of cavernous little den that you're supposed to strut around in as if you're some C-lister. Again, I found myself wondering when the shift happened at gigs whereby a simple tee shirt and jeans no longer cut it and you're faced with a slew of perfectly coiffered people looking like they've just walked out of the front window of Top Shop/TopMan. Because everyone's a rock star these days - to the point where bands themselves now look comparably drab. Apart from James Allen, who just brushed past me in his ludicrous leather jacket with almost life-sized Marilyn Monroe transfer on the back, and of course the Ray-Bans-despite-the-dark. His heroes aren't the Top Shop lot, but heavyweight heroes like Elvis and Joe Strummer, back when being in a band meant you were supernatural.

It reached the stage time for The Ruling Class, and it seemed they were not to appear, because within 20 minutes, another band took to the platform. For a good few minutes, I had to do second takes to check that Noel Gallagher hadn't made a secret guest appearance. It seems that from the side, Them:Youth's guitarist is a deadringer for Noel Gallagher circa 1994. It really is uncanny. A trio of unremarkable acoustic guitar rendered songs followed with northern stressed vocals. A hit with the young females down the front, and the large number of people who knew most of the song words. I was sorely upset that The Ruling Class were amiss tonight, although I'm not sure their dance-driven post-baggy would work acoustically.

The stage was adorned with white flowers and a white sheet (which would later project old movie reels, heavy on Marilyn Monroe) and soon stepped on the two brothers Allen to much appreciation. The phone cameras were in abundance as if to underline how priveleged the few were to be at this small club gig tonight. My gig partner described James's singing as 'agressively quiet'. Most of the night, I had to strain to some pains to actually hear his voice on the low mic. Moreover, it was a task to determine his vocals over that of the football match singalong that the crowd kickstarted, which did not let up until the final note rang out. Of course, these are songs rich with raw emotion and melody, it's enjoyable to sing along, but - to every single word of every single song, to the point of drowning out the band you've come to hear? It was like the bellicose hellish brand of fandom at an Oasis concert all over again, including the getting physically jumped on by strangers - I'm one to get deeply and personally affected by music too, but never to the point of that kind of odd madness, can only put it down to the beery boorishness of a Friday night in a club.

Going past the rampant culture of worshipping the 'cool' of rock stars and gig-goers swaggering like rock stars, plus the aforementioned bollocks behaviour, and just concentrating on the euphoric melody and raw emotion of Glasvegas, it was an exultant gig. Not as majestic as a bit of quiet appreciation might have lent it, but still a special place in time to have experienced.

It's my Own Cheating Heart
S.A.D Light
Go square Go
Daddy's Gone
Be My Baby [cover]
Flowers and Football Tops
[snippets of other covers, but couldn't hear over the crowd talking!]