mon 30/01/2023

Beabadoobee, Barrowland, Glasgow review - teenage kicks provide a familiar feeling | reviews, news & interviews

Beabadoobee, Barrowland, Glasgow review - teenage kicks provide a familiar feeling

Beabadoobee, Barrowland, Glasgow review - teenage kicks provide a familiar feeling

Bea Laus given an ecstatic reception on her biggest tour yet

Bea Laus sent a youthful crowd into raptures

Rarely will the bar staff at the Glasgow Barrowland have had an easier night. The crowd for Beabadoobee was so youthful that the vibe felt more like a school disco at times, right down to clusters of parents at the back and on the sidelines alternating between keeping a wary eye on proceedings and burying themselves in their phones. Their offspring, meanwhile, were racing to the front eagerly, leaving the usually busy bar areas deserted.

Given wild cheering greeted a roadie checking a guitar, it was no surprise that the actual appearance of Beatrice Laus brought on hysteria, both vocally and with an array of phones emerging to catch the opening “Apple Cider”. That devotion was relentless all evening. When Laus first properly spoke after several songs, to praise Glasgow, a number of the crowd immediately took steps forward, as if hoping they could catch whatever words emerged, and nearly every song was greeted like a welcome friend.

The set itself fairly zipped by, Laus and her three-piece backing band rattling through over 20 songs in just under 80 minutes, with the bulk selected from her two albums. That meant the emphasis was firmly on scuzzy alt rock, with occasional detours towards folksy pop that promptly battled crowd chatter. The former is a genre Laus is accomplished in, and although there is an undeniably familiarity to it for anyone who remembers the 90s there is still considerable satisfaction from hearing ethereal vocals colliding with great chunks of noise.

An early rendition of “Fairy Song” saw that sound bubble nicely before delivering a distorted punch, while “Care” came across like the perfect soundtrack to a coming of age montage in a teen movie. It’s no wonder her youthful followers are so devoted, because at her best she comes across as the perfect accompaniment to their hopes, dreams and fears, with “She Plays Bass” truly euphoric and the more easy-going “Last Day on Earth” a slice of pure pop.

Yet despite the atmosphere and the relatively brief set time, it became a little too easy for interest to wander away from the stage. This is not simply scepticism from having heard these influences before, either. Although Laus is talented at putting together indie rock, there were a number of tunes that ran together, where you knew the chorus around a minute before the song actually got there. Such predictability meant that was a stylish emptiness here, the likes of “Together” or “Sorry” fading from memory quickly and a lack of any real surprise from her material.

This wasn’t helped by the actual performance feeling somewhat like a band clocking in for their shift and then clocking off. Laus said little, save for admirable concern for a couple of audience members needing assistance, and a stage set-up that placed her drummer to the side rather than central left a lot of empty space behind her. As Laus tended mostly to stay positioned at the mic stand it wasn’t the most dynamic show to witness, the most movement coming from the cameraman filming the gig; rarely did it feel like Laus was reaching out to the whole venue.

That did not stop a party spirit down the front though, right through to a sharp set-closing “Cologne” and a big sing-a-long to Abba’s “Dancing Queen” that played over the PA as everyone headed for the exits. They’d had the time of their lives, at least.

It wasn’t the most dynamic show to actually witness, the most movement coming from the cameraman filming the gig

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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