Summer might be over but September, 29th 2014 will definitely be remembered as one of the shiniest days of the year – and I’m not talking about another scary global warming alert! – for that night, anyone could just have chilled out to the Californian vibes that filled the Glaswegian
air. The Allah-Las story is a cool one: four friends, three of them working at Amoeba – one of the biggest independent record stores – raised to the sound of the sixties, and deciding to go back to old-fashioned guitar music. “Another one?” you might say. But unlike thousands of other poorly inspired bands, everything in the Los Angeles-based foursome sounds authentic.
So authentic that when they hit the small and friendly stage of Broadcast, the gig was sold out with 160 people. It feels like you’re actually attending a jam-sesh between friends. There is no faking here: the guys laugh, talk and get assaulted by a mic full of static electricity, and yet it works perfectly! You know you’re looking at music lovers above all; people who know their classics so well they just nail it at faithfully transposing that awesome sound of the sixties.
The journey began with “No Werewolf ”, a trippy Shadows-like instrumental track from their second LP; “Worship The Sun”. A great way to kick-start a gig, before playing pretty much all of the best songs from their two albums. “Busman’s Holiday” went second, and there was something really magical when crowd sang-along. Even the band themselves were quite surprised! It’s obvious that the band was having a good time, and I think you could definitely believe them when they said that they were pleased to be back in Glasgow.
With the guys being multi-instrumentalists,
the gig was like a game of musical chairs as each and every member switched from the guitar, to drums, to vocals. The excellent track “Long Journey” was almost-surreal, especially when drummer Matthew Correia took lead vocals whilst playing maracas – and he actually has a great voice! The point is, the whole gig felt like a chilled summer evening between friends that don’t take themselves seriously. What more could you possibly want?
So the band played an 18-track set lasting an hour. Where “oldies” like “No Voodoo” or “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind)” went happily alongside their new songs such as “Follow You Down” and “501-415”. Since the new album had just been released, highlights were obviously their self-titled first album (“Catalina”, “Catamaran”). Though, the whole set was thoroughly enjoyable and there was perfect continuity between each song.
One last beer with the band signing tickets and albums on the pavement, and it was about time to call it a night – from the type of night that makes you walk home with dreams of palmtrees and beaches, and plans of holidays. Should there have been surfers on the Clyde, the night would have felt complete.
By Julien Reverchon
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