Glider permorming at the Ladhope Inn, Galashiels.Glider permorming at the Ladhope Inn, Galashiels.
Glider permorming at the Ladhope Inn, Galashiels.

Review: The Return of Pub Rock - Glider

Live music has undergone seismic change. Lots of small venues and pubs have disappeared due to a plethora of different reasons but mainly the causation has been financial.

Tonight works on two levels. Showcasing a local band and secondly pubs need to encourage customers through the door. That criteria has been met.

Glider are a perfect fit as the local based combo play to a packed audience last month.

Pub rock has returned and we’re here to saviour it.

Glider play on two fronts they are here to promote their recent new album and intermittently add covers. This has a two-fold effect giving us new material and allowing familiarity by cover versions.

Glider come from a school of alt-country rock. Their originals have an American feel about them. The clean sounding of a Tom Petty, the harmonies of a Steely Dan and the early jangle of The Byrds/REM.

Their songs are easily assimilated by virtue of the traditional elements of rock-pop. The phrasing of the verses, the hook choruses and middle eights, testament to their grooves is how one can connect with the songs instantly on first hearing. It’s good quintessential song writing.

Vocalist and lead guitarist Alan Oliver is the main link between band and audience. Communicative and encouraging crowd participation as the dancers take to what space is available. Aided and abetted by covers of 2-4-6-8 Motorway, C’mon Everybody and Johnny Be Good.

But personally, I’m interested in the band’s own material and there in much merit in that as the band avoid the easier option of just being a covers band.

The first two albums are well represented. Getaway from the debut album has an arpeggio intro, is melodically adept and contemporary by any standards.

The musicians might be veterans, but the songs are not defined nor restricted by age or by any current fad or image pretences. Romantic Lunatic is driven by a Peter Buck like clean guitar strumming emanating from Alan’s Gibson Firebird. Suitable for a long summer convertible drive.

Monaco features Neil Turnbull’s offbeat drumming creating a rockabillyesque structure. Add in the harmonies and its a reminder why live bands work so well. Magic, not the classic Pilot song, is an uplifting construct where magic might be found in your eyes as the lyrics allude to. Again, never

overbearing or overloading the sound. Today’s technology is proficient in balancing sound even for this limited venue space.

Neil Young’s adage that rock n roll will never die is truly fulfilled tonight and evidence that the public will respond when encouraged.

Glider’s new album Under the Radar is out now.

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