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Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 18:18 UK
'The most hyped band at Glastonbury'
By Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Announced as "the best new band in the UK" before their performance on Glastonbury's John Peel stage, Glasvegas have a lot to live up to.


"Best new band in the world, apparently," says the band's towering guitarist Rab Allen.

"Aye, I was going to go and correct the guy but I thought I better just go and play the song," continues singer, founding member, and Rab's cousin James Allen.

"Maybe I'm just hard to please," he smiles.

Hype seems to follow the band every which way, after picking up an NME award on the back of just two limited edition seven inch singles.

And nearly everyone at Glastonbury has a pocket sized festival guide swinging around their neck. Within its pages, Glasvegas are announced as a Pick of The Day.

'Special things'

Lesser bands would feel daunted by such acclaim so early on in their career but Allen clearly relishes it.

He says: "I don't want to sound in any way arrogant but I quite like it when people expect special things from me because I know how much I give to the music and give to the band.

"Sometimes I'm on my knees because I give everything I've got."

Following their, perhaps overstated introduction, the band, dressed head to foot in black, played under the cover of smoke and red lighting.

"That's cause we're not very good looking," laughs Allen, pulling a face at bass player Paul Donoghue who is missing several teeth.

Donoghue, the quietest member of the band, smiles shyly.

Allen cuts a particularly romantic figure on stage, midway between The Clash's Joe Strummer and Johnny Cash.


His words between songs are sparse, limited to 'thank yours'. And he never removes his sunglasses throughout the set.

He says: "I think I say so much in the songs, I don't really think I need to say anything else.

"I know the done thing is that every band turns up at Glastonbury and shouts 'Glastonbuuuuury', and the tune starts up.

"But I don't feel the need to do that."

The tent is full as the band launch into their set.

The crowd is receptive, despite most of them never having seen the band live or having heard much of their repertoire. The exception is the single 'Daddy's Gone' which closes the set.

The song has taken on an anthemic quality causing a mass singalong.

If people say we're special, then how I read into that is, they're saying, 'This lot have got something to say'
Rab Allen

Which is strange, considering it is a soaring melodramatic number about a boy's yearning for an absent father.

"It's strange that you say anthemic, because I never wrote it like that," says Allen.

He continues: "I never thought that would be a song that people would sing like that.

"It's hardly I Like To Boogie by T-Rex."

Musically, the band's sound has been compared with legendary producer Phil Spector's famous Wall of Sound.

Layers and layers of music crash out from the stage and drummer Caroline McKay's drums act like the band's heartbeat powering them forward.


In fairness to Glasvegas, early afternoon on the Peel stage is probably not the best atmosphere in which to soak up their music and on the outer rims of the packed tent, there were some mumbles of discontent.

"Didn't light my fire," a woman grumbled. While a more seasoned festival goer smiled and said: "Well, most overhyped band of the weekend."

But if the cheers coming from the front of the stage were anything to go by, the buzz surrounding the Glasgow band will only intensify.

Allen says: "If people say we're special, then how I read into that is, they're saying, 'This lot have got something to say.'

"It feels pretty sweet on your ears."

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