Glassjaw – Manchester University

By paul

Glassjaw ? Manchester Academy ? Sunday 24th January 2010

The phrase ?most anticipated gig of the year? is constantly bounced around. It feels very appropriate. A good number of the crowd would never have seen Glassjaw live before. The expectation levels are thus at a premium. For this reason I have mixed feelings for Shapes and Pulled Apart By Horses. One of congratulations for such a high profile support slot and another of concern. They are both in few peoples minds due to the immense focus on Glassjaw.

Shapes were first up. Even early on you can tell the excitement being felt by this young Birmingham outfit and the real desire to try and impress. This is shown in a highly energetic set full of enthusiasm. Unfortunately the emotion shown up on stage isn’t replicated in the audience with it being more evident of a library than a gig. Gavin’s drumming in particular came through really well this evening with it appearing he’d grown a 3rd arm from somewhere. My only reservation is that this is a close on no win situation for them as nobody really appears that interested and for a relatively young band the venue size is too big too soon. (2.5/5)

Pulled Apart By Horses quickly follow with a very similar sound to Shapes. One that could be described as being on the Hardcore side of Indie/Alternative. I would say this is a slightly more disappointing set to Shapes‘ as despite these guys giving it plenty I can’t help but feel they’re a little overawed by the occasion. I was expecting more. There was nothing that really made them stand out. At the same time you feel the lack of atmosphere in the crowd along with the scenario of being the main support act for Glassjaw was always going to make this difficult. At this stage in their career I think I’d benefit from seeing them in a more intimate setting. (2/5)

This was it. The expectation of many was undoubtedly huge.

There’s no messing around either as the classic ?Tip Your Bartender? kicks things off. Reminiscent of the Glassjaw most people should love to remember. This naturally goes down brilliantly with the crowd who seem to have stopped concentrating on getting drunk and enjoying what’s in front of them. As the set goes on there’s a slight sense that Glassjaw don’t appear to be into this as much as you’d expect and like them to be. Daryl spends most of the evening adopting a very ‘stand and deliver’ approach, a little similar to that of Colour Revolt, this should be no surprise though. The band collectively however don’t seem as cohesive and brutal as expected. ‘Ape Dos Mil’ and ‘The Gillette Cavalcade Of Sports’ back to back is a very noticeable but slightly predictable highlight. The set’s most noticeable moments are attributed to ‘Worship and Tribute’ which is understandable as many people have come to hear just that. In true Glassjaw style though it ends with the absence of ?Cosmopolitan Bloodloss? which no doubt frustrated many of the crowd. This is a band that prides themselves on leaving the crowd wanting more. The lack of any encores is another example of this. This is Glassjaw though and I’d have them no other way. (3/5)