Music

The Vaselines, CCA, Glasgow

Lisa-Marie Ferla, Four stars

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For Carla J Easton, it’s time to start playing Christmas music when Roy Wood says it is. She saw the Wizzard frontman perform at the Pavillion last week, she explained, before launching into the 1960s girl band-style Christmas song she released under her Ette alter-ego in 2015, Spending Christmas With My Boy. It seems that Wood closed the night with Wizzard’s biggest hit – although, as Easton realised out loud, you could get away with singing I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day just about any day of the year.

It was the sort of self-effacing audience bonding that would recur throughout the night at a particularly good-natured gig. Easton, who later brought her synth skills to the Vaselines’ backing band, performed stripped-back versions of songs by her band TeenCanteen, as well as from the recently-recorded album she plans to release under her own name.

The Vaselines were making effortless-sounding, literate indie pop before it was cool, even if the songs you know best have more of an airy, folky feel. What was billed as an acoustic duo show at the end of a short run of dates to mark the band’s 30th anniversary somehow grew bass, drums, keyboards and synth, but Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee’s intermingling voices – and cheerful on-stage ribbing of each other – remained the focal point.

Opener I Hate The 80s, with its witty, cynical lyrics, set the scene for a fast-paced, mostly lighthearted set, ranging from the lo-fi sweetness of Molly’s Lips and bratty punk and vivid storytelling of Slushy to the band’s more refined, post-2010 songwriting. Of these, Single Spies, apparently performed live for the first time, stood out – its aching “stop denying that it meant something” refrain a rare moment of sombreness.