Ida Maria

Brooklyn, New York • March 28, 2009

On the last Saturday in March, a sold-out crowd swarmed into Brooklyn’s mid-sized Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch Glasvegas — a Scottish four-piece that’s parlayed just one proper, self-titled album into a flourishing career thanks significantly to blogosphere hype.


Alexis Berkowitz

But before the black-clad, melancholic troupe would take the stage, 24-year-old Norwegian rocker Ida Maria opened the show with a raucous set of pop-punk filled with her unabashed tales of sex and boozing. Decked in red and black checkered flannel — and what appeared to be spandex pants — the guitar-wielding spitfire tore quickly through songs from her debut Fortress Round My Heart, including “Oh My God” and “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked”.

While Ida Maria seemed to be right at home on stage bellowing lyrics and sometimes flailing around whimsically, Glasvegas opted for a more rigid, subdued presence when they first appeared. The band, fronted by black leather jacket & pompadour-sporting singer/guitarist James Allan, launched into their first single “Geraldine,” an anthemic blue-collar tune rendered even more powerful by the great acoustics of the Music Hall.

Ida Maria

Alexis Berkowitz
Ida Maria

Comparisons to early Jesus & Mary Chain have dogged Glasvegas since they first gained notice, but with Allan’s pained, poignant vocals, drummer Caroline McKay’s clanging, stripped-down trapkit and guitarist Rab Allan’s loud, enveloping chords, the band’s kinship lies more with old school U2 and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. As the show progressed, and the band unveiled more album cuts including the building, mid-tempo piece “It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry,” Allan and company seemed to be getting more comfortable with their audience.

Relinquishing the guitar, grabbing the mic and sauntering around onstage, Allan — who bears an eerie resemblance to the late Joe Strummer — led Glasvegas through the nine-song set featuring the seven-minute opus “Flowers & Football Tops” and closer “Go Square Go.” The latter track was a rousing crowd-pleaser that had everyone dutifully clapping and singing along, chanting “Here we, here we, here we fucking go” as the driving drum beats and chorus made for an ideal climax.


Alexis Berkowitz

Still, neither band nor audience was through, as Glasvegas stretched their discography to its limits by returning with a two-song encore that ended with the emotional ballad “Daddy’s Gone.” Time will only tell how Glasvegas’ career will turn out, but if the vibe this past March in Brooklyn was any indication, the Glaswegian group has clearly resonated with an audience beyond the internet.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Zombie

    One of the most notorious horror films is back for its 40th anniversary.

  • Tyrel

    Tyrel is the new feature by controversial Chilean director, Sebastián Silva, who here invites you to spend a weekend with the film’s African-American protagonist while he suffers through an alcohol-fueled and epically awkward birthday celebration.

  • Sick Note
    Sick Note

    If you have a problem distinguishing between highly inappropriate and hilarious, then Ian Koss thinks this show is for you.

  • Christmas Is…
    Christmas Is…

    Todd Allen Long sings an eclectic collection of Holiday favorites.

  • Bloodlines: The Art and Life of Vincent Castiglia
    Bloodlines: The Art and Life of Vincent Castiglia

    Vincent Castiglia is an painter, tattoo artist, metal guitarist and the man who captures amazing images in blood. Bloodlines takes you into his works and world.

  • 100 Things to Do in Orlando Before You Die (2nd Edition)
    100 Things to Do in Orlando Before You Die (2nd Edition)

    A tourist guide to some of the fun things only locals know about in the City Beautiful and surrounding countryside.

  • Say Sue Me
    Say Sue Me

    Christmas, It’s No Biggie (Damnably Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Lucius

    Christmas Time is Here. Review by Phil Bailey.

  • Tarik Aktaş
    Tarik Aktaş

    Dead Horse Nebula director, Tarik Aktaş, speaks with Generoso Fierro about his AFI Fest 2018-selected debut feature.

  • Beth Hart
    Beth Hart

    Beth Hart – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Mascot Label Group/Provogue). Review by Michelle Wilson.

From the Archives