They made me like it!
The Sunday night of a Bank Holiday weekend in Glasgow is always pretty special and the first May Day holiday always raises a cheer, what with it being the start of summer. Okay, the weather is still far too changeable to rush out in shorts and short sleeved tops but there’s a change in mentality, heck, some Glaswegians even took a drink on the Sunday evening, such was the upbeat mood in the city. Part of the reason for this was city sons The 1990s arriving home to play to a small, yet excited crowd in the ABC2 venue in Glasgow.
Opener ‘I Don’t Even Know What That Is’ set the tone and if you appreciate the New York New Wave sound, you will be quids in with this band. Whether it’s the Modern Lovers or Blondie influence, the mix of cool guitar with outrageously poppy melodies sees the band going down a storm with songs from debut album ‘Cookies’ and new album, ‘Kicks’.
The band then launched into ‘Cult Status’, which brought about a strong dose of interaction from the crowd. There’s a fantastic line about one of the benefits that cult status can bring and it was sung with gusto by the crowd as opposed to the band, helping bringing the two closer together. All we can say is, if you have doubts about your wife, don’t let her near the 1990 boys or there could be trouble ahead.
One of the strange things about the 1990s, especially in these modern times, is the fact that they choose to play three up front, with all band members pushed up at the edge of the stage. On home territory, such attacking prowess is probably expected but the fact that the band deploys the same line-up away from home is indicative of their nature and spirit. Chelsea’s tactics in the Camp Nou, much like the Chelsea hotel, didn’t ring my bell so the three pronged assault was very much welcome. This also meant that the band used a drummer that can sing and as Michael McGaughrin was resplendent in a very stripey shirt, comparisons with Dennis Wilson were unavoidable.
Again, the home town show was probably adding to the bon homie of the night and certainly the band were playing in front of many friends and family but there is so much to enjoy with the act. As stated, the music does owe a debt to musical trends of the past but they manage to combine it with such a local feel that it feels really fresh. There is something extremely pleasant about hearing a band sing about the number 59 bus and knowing exactly where it runs and having a few stories to tell about it. That said if a New York band sang about their subway trips in the same manner, they would be lauded for their storytelling so why shouldn’t a local band be given the same praise.
The encore featured a cover of ‘Radioactivity’ from Kraftwerk with the band making it sound more like a Neu song than a number made famous by the Robots. Taking the fun fun fun from the autobahn was a great way to prolong the evening but the evening was brought to a close by ‘Pollokshields’, the bands tribute to the South side of Glasgow location where something is always going on.
With new material blending effortlessly with the old and the sense of joy and fun positively dripping from every song, the 1990s deserve to be playing on a far bigger stage than the ABC2 and one can only hope that they’ll experience a spike in popularity over the summer. Whether its getting one of their tunes on an advert or wowing a few festival crowds, you need to hear more of this band and when you do, you’ll know you’re supposed to be their friend.