Dean Shakespeare’s Under The Influence have got a cracking roster for the coming months. Of special interest to me are personal favourites Cabbage, which’ll be worth the trek to York, Heather Small who pretty much soundtracked the 90s either through M People’s albums or the massive club remixes of their tunes. Slaves, The Horrors and current favourites Dream Wife is a huge booking for Zeb’s in the summer, top line-up there for the indie kids (and those of advancing years who still think they’ve got it – me). Smoove and Turrell always have a riot in Hull, this time at the Adelphi. There’s the usual quality on the horizon.
Of particular interest, and surprise actually to me, is the booking of Glasvegas
When Glasvegas arrived on the scene ten years ago (that makes me feel fucking old as it seems like yesterday), they were a breath of fresh air. Maybe not fresh, because their tales, sung in a thick Glaswegian brogue were not those of hope and a great future. They arrived at a time when the vogue was to sing in regional accents, see Arctic Monkeys and The Courteeners, but their often impenetrable Scottish vernacular was a step further. Like the first 30 pages of Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh; if you can get past that, the rewards are massive.
They’re coming to Hull, one of only two dates celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of their debut. I was in China when it dropped, and I’d never heard anything like it. It was fucking amazing. The opening Flowers and Football Tops, Geraldine and the devastating Daddy’s Gone, were deeply affecting, all confessional therapy stuff set to a Mary Chain-style wall of sound. What’s amazing is that the tunes, regardless of content, are so strong, the sound is massive, destined for arenas or stadiums, but the subject matter, clearly deeply personal, probably hindered those aspirations.
It’s made me listen back to the debut album today, and I can’t wait to see them. It’s stirred up all kinds of emotions which it was originally intended to do. Their juxtaposition of the tragic with the euphoric is monumental and it’s going to sound huge in The Welly. It’s stark listening for sure, in places, it sounds like you’re earwigging in on an intense therapy session, but it’s offset with the beauty of its sound. A masterful trick to pull off.
Some typically quality bookings ahead, but this is the one for me. Tickets @ Hull Box Office
Check out all Under the Influence shows below. Tickets @ HBO & See Tickets
WORDS: Mike Robbo