10 years ago saw the release of the debut album from Glasvegas. Released a few months after the BBC tipped them as one of the acts to watch out for in 2008 the album more than lived up to all the many superlatives thrown at it. The original four piece of James Allan, his cousin Rab, Paul Donoghue and Caroline McKay started knocking out some tunes in Dalmarnock a couple of years earlier and quickly piqued the interest of Alan McGee after he caught them playing at Glasgow's King Tuts. One of their early releases, Daddy's Gone, set the tone for what was to follow. Marrying a love of Doo Wop, 60's girl groups, Spector's Wall Of Sound and the melodic,gorgeous noise produced a few years earlier by The Jesus and Mary Chain, this was one of those singles that when you heard it you sat up and took notice. Hearing their debut single on a major label in early 2008 was the moment you knew that Daddy's Gone was not a one off and that you were listening to a band that were delivering on the early promise. With its unforgettable melody, glorious feedback drenched guitar sound and James Allan's rich, distinctive vocals, Geraldine became their first bona fide hit and introduced the band to a much deserved,wider audience. Not bad for a song seemingly about a social worker who gave up her job to sell Glasvegas merchandise at their gigs. What also set them apart from all the other bands at the time was Allan's unique,often tender lyrics, sometimes dealing in subject matters that were not likely to feature in your average Top 10 album. Absent fathers, self loathing resulting from infidelity and the tragic murder of a 15 year old Glasgow boy were unlikely to be found anywhere else in the charts of 2008. The album certainly wore its influences proudly on its sleeve but still manged to sound uniquely like no one else but Glasvegas. Like The Mary Chain before them they had managed to create a sound of their own that was instantly recognisable as Glasvegas.
I recently listened to the album for the first time in a while and it has stood the test of time really well, as all great albums do. I have been fortunate enough to have seen the band live numerous times, in some quite different venues such as Ayr Town Hall and a former brothel in Paris, and to this day those songs from their classic debut still sound as special as they did when they were first released. The band are currently touring the debut album, for its 10th anniversary, and the reactions of their still devoted following testify to the longevity of great songs and great songwriting. Music and lyrics delivered with such passion, meaning and honesty that you don't find on many records these days, with an authenticity that you simply cannot fake. Long may they continue to do what only they can.