I was beginning to wonder how on earth I'd get a hold of the new Glasvegas album.. Unavailable at local independent record shop (which was first choice, to give my money to the best corporate cause), despite it being the release date... I had headed to the shop as soon as possible on the Monday, to get that new-release day feeling. Can that feeling really be replicated online? Parcels through the door are very nice, but I prefer them from friends - to go into a record shop, be amidst music on sale and music playing, see that new, desired/dreamed-of new album on shiny display, handle it with curiosity, go right up to the counter, buy it, maybe discuss it, then stroll home with it in your swag, hurrying home filled with thrill, the item glowing in the style of the heart in A Life Less Ordinary, almost illicit in its secret, wondrous splendour... I thought I had lost that giddy wonder, but actually, still, nothing can beat that. Even after my teens and my 20s.
Going into my local HMV store at the end of the week was actually more successful in locating this new release item. It was at a cheaper price than as cited online, too, bonus DVD/booklet shebang and all.
I greedily fed on the DVD show, a live concert in a church in Glasgow. It was powerful, the band still move me, the music still soars. The live DVD was the album rendered on piano, more intimate, heart-wrenching. I get a bit of the same feeling from this band as I do from The Cure.
Often the best music is 'that which tells of saddest thought'. I've always felt that Glasvegas moved me with emotion and melody - I've never really overanalysed it, just genuinely enjoyed it - and that overrides any sense of over-indulgent blues that people seem to accuse them of. There is something that runs throughout their work that really gets me every time. Sure, there are weaker moments, but the very best are those that transport me, lift me up high - because fraught, wrought, desperately sad music can be 'euphoric'.
Saddens me that people could write Glasvegas off now, when they still have that tunesome melancholy that lends me air of hope, joy... exhilaration. The emotional vocal delivery, the yearning in the melodies. I feel elated; enlivened.
Press reviews that are disparaging, and/or tell of a band that have dipped/changed are missing all the points. The heartbeat here is impassioned, and so human and heartfelt - the band always cause this huge sense of human emotion/open heart to shine through. If they come across as 'underdogs', that only makes me love them more. But a spectacular new drummer in Jonna has lent a new element of energy - also, the band are still the one that left me reeling years ago. It's in James Allan's surety, commitment, mighty-all in singing, the way the guitars fizz and sparkle still, and the way the band remain exuberant amidst lugubriousness.
Addendum: I interviewed some of the band for the next paper issue of The All Thrills No Frills Music Bill, but unfortunately the digital recording got deleted accidentally (at their gig the same night!). In 14 years of interviewing bands, I have never once lost a recording of an interview to anything - this is the first time. But actually, there was a David Gedge interview on there too. I can only fiercely apologise about all that, especially to the artists - but I can promise the next zine will still sweep you off your feet! Also, after another blow - that is, leaving my tape recorder in a cinema gig (that'll teach me to try and bootleg Robyn Hitchcock soundtracking a Clint Eastwood movie) - The All Thrills now has a brand new recording system. Onwards !