Every once in a great while a band comes down the pike with all the right elements in place. A Spectorian wall-of-sound, distorted Mary Chain-like guitars, a female Mo Tucker-inspired drummer, a singer with a soulful Scottish brogue, a Wayfarer-wearing, man-in-black style, a bit of Bunnymenesque mystery, and a name that simultaneously celebrates their hometown while giving a wink to Sin City.
The band I write of is Glasvegas, a Scottish quartet that's been making noise in the U.K. for the past few years and has started to build a significant buzz Stateside.
Originally formed in late 2003 by singer/guitarist James Allan, his cousin, guitarist Rab Allen, bassist Paul Donoghue, and drummer Ryan Ross, Glasvegas first gained notice by gigging live and issuing a series of self-released singles. When Ross left the fold the band, Caroline McKay was recruited.
Early supporters included Creation Records mastermind Allan McGee, who in August 2008 called Glasvegas, "The greatest band not just to come out of Scotland but to come out of Britain" in the past two-and-half years. As McGee rightly pointed out in a piece published in the Independent, Glasgow has produced a long line of great bands over the years, including Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, Mogwai, and Belle & Sebastian.
Here's the band's exclusive performance, stunningly shot in black-and-white. This song is called "Geraldine" and it's perhaps the best song ever written about a social worker, even if it may be the only song ever written about a social worker. Also note that the band wears its influences on its chest. Check out James Allan's Stooges T, while Donoghue sports a Pogues shirt.
The great thing about Glasvegas is that the band is no mere one-hit wonder. Check out their self-titled album and you'll find plenty of great tracks that show off the band's talent and smart instincts. For an additional taste, we now present "Flowers And Football Tops." Be sure to listen through to the final two minutes, as the song shifts gears and James Allan ingeniously tacks on a snippet of Jimmie Davis's country music standard "You Are My Sunshine."
Finally, we'll leave you with our exclusive Glasvegas interview. Another cool thing about the band is that they're humble, despite their huge following in the U.K. They're thankful for their success and if it all ended tomorrow, they'd be happy for the adventures and glad they made their mommas proud. How cool is that?