Venue: Glasgow SWG3
Date: 05 May 2022
Part way through The A Song (Laid In Your Arms) I shut my eyes, marveling at the squall of the guitars, the shriek from the keyboards, the insistency of the bass and the repetitive pulse of the drums, all competing for space yet contemplating each other in a sound of sonic dissonance that simply took the breath away. This was the sound of Reed, Cale, Morrison and Tucker in The Gymnasium, NYC 1967 and it blew my fucking mind. White heat/white light, white noise screaming out of the speakers, hit me up baby, this soul is on fire.
Spiritualized have been going for thirty odd years and have released a number of great albums during that period. The set tonight in Glasgow drew heavily on the last two, And Nothing Hurt and Everything Was Beautiful which only came out in April. The purists though were well rewarded with some classic tracks covering the band’s illustrious career to date.
The live band consist of nine members, Jason Pierce on his stool to the left of the stage, drummer, bass, keyboards, two guitarists and three backing singers. The fact that they hardly moved from their spots for the next two hours yet still the crowd remained captivated tells you everything you need to know about the quality of the songs on offer and the beauty of their delivery.
Opening with a ten minute track could be construed as a gamble but Hey Jane burst out the blocks, the drums setting the pace before the gospel backing singers coalesced neatly with the musical beat as the track evolved into a psychedelic stomp. And that was just for starters.
She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit) followed, a straight up rock and roll track with plenty of distortion and morphed into the quieter, slacker Shine A Light which really emphasized the musicality and range of the band. It was at this point my mate G spotted a couple of fans to our right body popping a la Beastie Boys to the slowest track of the night, something they continued to do for the whole gig. Impressive though we did suspect some type of narcotics may have been ingested!
Mixing psychedelic sounds with rock and roll, gospel, blues and a touch of country, Pierce was the pied piper, leading the way for his musical disciples and adoring flock to follow. A triple salvo of Soul On Fire, Come Together and Sail On Through finished off the set. You could’ve heard a pin drop during that final track as the song started quietly, gently building with the gospel singers adding a celestial allure, an absolute divine moment that the attentive, deferential crowd relished.
So Long You Pretty Things was the perfect encore, sending the crowd home satiated after what was a really special gig.
For more details on new album Everything Was Beautiful and all things Spiritualized, head over to their website here.