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Not exactly an up-to-date photo.

Not exactly an up-to-date photo.

A great weight of expectation & excitement befalls the Glasgow Barrowlands ballroom this evening as shoegaze and general noise merchants My Bloody Valentine return to the stage. The My Bloody Valentine camp has seen a wealth of activity* with the recent reissues of their back catalogue & a new album to tour ‘MBV’. Can a group as mighty as MBV live up to the heights written about them & the expectations of this sold out crowd… the next two hours should hopefully answer that**.

Casually walking onstage, the band were greeted with a deafening reception from the audience, which really made the earplugs given out for free upon entry rather useful***. Heading straight into ‘I only said’ the crowd were instantly hypnotised and proceeded with the moshing down front. The pace of the opening continued into ‘when you sleep’ and progressed for a good portion of the set peaking and culminating with ‘only shallow’****.

The set plodded forward after this with songs from every release of MBV’s back catalogue. There was a surprising lack of new material but those that they did play melded easily into the set just fine. Second to lastly, MBV played ‘you made me realise’ which of course has the much spoken of Holocaust section which drenched the crowd in a cacophony of feedback and squealing***** to much delight. Finishing with, all band members down front, new album track ‘wonder 2’ leader Kevin Shields finally acknowledged the crowd with a “thanks” and they left very much as they came on – with a captivated and enthralled Glasgow crowd bellowing out their name.

However, I was not as enamoured as most of the crowd. The band came across as so disinterested in what they were doing that I was left wanting******. It seemed that the band’s focus was to try and recreate their albums onstage as closely as possible that I found it intriguing that Belinda Butcher was not playing her guitar at several points in the evening*******, considering it is well known how many guitar overlays there are on tracks especially on ‘Loveless’. This led to an air of doing things by numbers, especially with the lack of audience interaction, and which culminated in a safe show without even an intimation of spontaneity.

Having once been the peak purveyors of ethereal noise, My Bloody Valentine are now running behind those that they have inspired, more or less summed up in the ‘Holocaust’ section. At one point this would have been astounding, but now rather run of the mill and rather lacking impact. A major disappointment for myself but who am I to complain? The crowd seemed to fuckin’ love it!

*Unbridled for this group…

**Can any group… except for Neil Young… and even he can be inconsistent.

***It proved to be the only time they did.

****’You never should’ was fucking ace to be fair.

*****So that is what they were for.

******I even went out for a cigarette at one point… I’m not proud of it.

*******I am not a guitar player so apologies if I am missing something.