NME – Glasgow QM Union, 8th March 1997
29th March 1997
Live Review

Things aren’t looking promising for V-Twin. The stage is cluttered with the usual array of equipment… and four keyboards. The audience of anoraked romantics and bespectacled indiephiles weren’t exactly counting on prog-rock tonight.
Luckily, that’s not actually on the menu: what they do get is a feast of vintage rock. But then, they weren’t counting on that either, since V-Twin are replacing the rather more melodious Adventures In Stereo as tonight’s support.

V-Twin are on form though, and this is more than enough to save the day. They visibly shake with power as they unleash their instrumental opener, converting the audience into pogoing maniacs within the space of 12 bars. You could easily label them unoriginal or even retro, but you can’t argue with this kind of volume. They boot the dying shit out of the corpse of T Rex, the Stones and the New York Dolls, and then scream ‘Kick Out The Jams’ in its face. And they’re all the more wonderful for being unexpected.

You’d expect Belle & Sebastian would have a hard time following this, but they show a diversity and friendliness that belies their roundly-praised, if painfully introspective, album ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’.

Singer Stuart Murdoch has learned quickly how to deal with audiences: on his own terms, sure, but with a surprising degree of respect, given his preciousness.

But the respect is definitely mutual. The bedroom scrawlings of ‘Seeing Other People’ transfers amazingly welt, even to this packed student union, and the captivating blend of Donovan-esque songwriting end Simon R Garfunkel arrangements have everyone captivated.

As with V-Twin, they play a numbers game, with as many as nine people on various strings and brass or even the odd Theremin at any given moment, but then the latest crop of successful Glasgow bands seem almost as interested in cutting down dole queues as giving us songs to whistle in the mornings or sing on the way home from the pub. Just what Scotland needs: evolution not devolution.

Craig Reece

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