One Eyed Jacks
April 07, 2006
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY IAN STANFORD
Every New Orleanian knows that a lot can happen in eight months. Some of us have lived in three different states or held several different jobs. Well, the boys of Glasgow! used the last eight months to carefully craft their latest effort, a seven-song EP entitled One of Me(2006, Saints Day Media). They decided to celebrate that accomplishment by bringing their danceable, infectious brand of pop-rock to One Eyed Jack’s last Friday night. The concert showcased Glasgow!’s excellent musicianship, theatrical flair, and ability to flat-out rock.
The evening began as solid local indie rockers The Public roused the capacity crowd by weaving together spacy delayed guitars with a flawless groove that was laid down by bassist Ryan Plattsmier and drummer Bryan Besse. As the anticipation continued to build for the main event, the crowd moved forward and grew larger.
Bassist Jack Craft is one-third of Glasgow!'s creative core. Also in the core are younger brother vocalist/guitarist Sam Craft and long-time friend guitarist Andrew Hartsock. When asked how he would describe “Glasgow!,” Jack said the band’s live performances are a “catchy pop-rock revival.” While that characterization left this reporter somewhat puzzled at first, the stage curtain opened to reveal Sam Craft sporting a tuxedo singing the upbeat and slightly comical, “Dirty Mouth: One of You,” which can be found on the new record. It was then I realized that Jack's description was correct. Glasgow! is a band that refuses to take themselves too seriously(unlike too many young acts today), and because of this, the audience responded immediately. Everyone from goth girls to emo boys were singing and dancing to every song.
Around the fifth song, another from the new record called “Up in Flames,” the band stopped playing while Sam lead the audience in chanting one of the lyrics. As the crowd yelled out “Hear my confession” over and over, Craft, from his high position on stage, seemed to be conducting the audience--moving his hands back and forth more like a mad maestro than a rock front-man. The high point of the set was when the band played the songs “Sea Shanty” and “Comfortable,” the most indie radio-worthy tunes from the new CD. In these songs, as well as many more, the band used guest musicians to play string and horn arrangements present on the CD. While this is not a staple of most Glasgow! shows, Sam explained, “Tonight, our goal is to keep as true to the album as possible.” Although these different arrangements did give Glasgow!’s set an inconsistent feel, bouncing back and forth between swamp pop, orchestral rock, and stripped-down indie rock, drummer Eric Rogers kept the show exciting by laying down solid, danceable drum beats under every song. Even as the show wore on, Rogers' rhythm remained unflappable and kept the crowd dancing(sometimes on tables). Rogers is a new addition to the band. Though he isn’t featured on the new record, after only a few practices the band’s sound “organically came together,” according to Rogers.
While the band plays steadily in the New Orleans area, the Craft bothers said they plan to broaden their fan base by touring regionally. Overall, Glasgow’s live performance was energetic and eclectic, even though it relies heavily on the energy level of the audience. Whether you're in the mood to blow off some steam on a Friday night or sit back, sip a cocktail and enjoy a live band, I highly recommend that you check out Glasgow!