Author Topic: Glas  (Read 2546 times)

Rob W

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Glas
« on: May 31, 2018, 04:32:32 AM »
Amongst their plethora of gigs in S.Wales, Glas are doing a mini UK tour in July. Nottingham, Bristol, Leicester, Wallsend, Gateshead, North Shields and Harrogate from memory, and kicking off 10 July ending on 15 July.
Will be great to give them some support, considering their friendship with Deke and Stevey/Dawn Elsdon. Most importantly, they are a fabulous band. Their version of bananas, particularly bearing in mind one guitar, bass and drums is unreal. Amazing. Please support them if possible.  :)

http://www.glasband.co.uk/gigs/4583791532

Michael Heatley

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Re: Glas
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 10:15:22 AM »
Well said. James is astonishing!

Allan Heron

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Re: Glas
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2018, 07:46:19 PM »
Gow
It's Just My View

Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
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Love is not music
Music is THE BEST........

Rob W

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Re: Glas
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 09:22:06 PM »

Rob W

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Re: Glas
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 09:51:23 PM »
Glas last night in Harrogate.

Apologies if sounding like the proverbial broken record, but Glas just get better and better. Suffice to say, I was privileged to hear the best, yes the best ever, version of Bananas I have seen perform live. And that's from my first Man gig seen in 1974. That it was played with one electric guitar, one bass guitar, and a set of drums makes it all the more incredible.

A good size audience, the vast majority new to Glas were transfixed (no exaggeration) by James on guitar, but Dai on bass matched him throughout. Other than Geddy Lee, I can't recall a bass guitarist really playing the bass as a musical instrument rather than just da da da da.

A group of unknown South Wales boys took on this part of Yorkshire. And won. Easily. 2 encores, the crowd wanting a third but they weren't allowed due to time curfew, and these were not a Glas crowd, proved it.

I don't intend to sound like their Marketing Manager, it quite simply is fact. If not already, go and see them. And then tell me you're not blown away by their version of Bananas (and the Allman Brothers song they've just added).
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 09:54:40 PM by Rob W »

Michael Heatley

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Re: Glas
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 12:29:20 PM »
Nice one, Rob. I wore my Glas T-shirt to the Will bash and got a lot of comments and questions about them. Clearly a name to watch.

Talking of T-shirts, here's my unused sleeve note for their new album. Shame to waste it!


When you get to a certain age, you realise wearing band T-shirts is simply no longer cool. This writer makes only two exceptions to that rule – and the first is Glas.

I made their acquaintance playing the first wedding anniversary party of Steve and Dawn Elsdon. Steve was a supporter of Welsh rock music, and James, Dai and Huw were his current – and, as it sadly turned out, last – favourite band.  He’d bent my ear about them and how they’d jammed with our mutual friend and former Man stalwart Deke Leonard.

Deke fell under their spell straightaway, confessing that ‘Glas are a great band and, speaking as a guitarist, James Oliver scares the hell out of me.’ That got my attention…but it was seeing them live that truly converted me to the cause. Not only that, I pinned their image to my chest. Legendary six-stringers Taff Williams and Tweke Lewis, who played with them that night, were similarly impressed.

The obvious comparison was Dr Feelgood. No Brilleaux on board, admittedly, but a large helping of Welsh energy, wit and humour leavening the primal guitar+bass+drums energy that fizzed from the stage. Another memory stirred from the cosmopolitan 70s scene was Roogalator, the band fronted by Cincinnati native Danny Adler who, like our Mr Oliver, had his own distinctive way of wielding a Fender. Glas once had two guitar-players, but you suspect the number of notes played never changed when the quartet slimmed down to a trio.

You hold in your hand the Blackwood boys’ third album, the first of all-original material. So either you are in a position to assess the progress made since forming in early 2012 or you have joined the party at exactly the right time. It’s all there for the taking for three young men who, as with so many legendary Welsh bands, took their initial inspiration from the USA before twisting it into something idiosyncratically their own.

The music of the Southern states gave Glas their first stepping stone to stardom - their first album was titled ‘From The Blues To Your Shoes’ and they were the first Welsh act to play the prestigious Monaghan Blues Festival in Ireland, while visiting legends like Leo Bud Welch have requested they tour with them. Yet they have proved themselves ready, wiling and able to transcend genres. Hence the proud reliance on self-penned material here, a gamble I’m sure you’ll agree has paid off in spades.

Ten tracks – eleven if you count ‘Sky Turned Red’ as separate entities – lay down the Glas musical manifesto. You’ll discern parallels of your own, but I’m hearing original music that brings to mind Vince Taylor, the Pirates, Dave Edmunds, Gary Myrick, the Cramps, even Andy Fairweather Low (on ‘Revenge Freak’). There’s also a Lennon-esque edge to Dai’s vocal on ‘Other Half’ that pleases the inner Merseybeater.

Then you get off-the-wall moments like the tricksy rhythms of ‘Keep On Running’, of which Deke Leonard would heartily have approved; James calls it ‘avant-garde rock’n’roll or rockabilly-esque blues.’ Not to mention a guitar solo on ‘Something Wrong With The War’ that simply defies comparison. Maybe opening for Albert Lee saw a little something rub off from the fleet-fingered ‘Country Boy’…but there’s an edge here that will grab even the most jaded of ears.

Two welcome party guests deserve namechecking. American harmonica-player Jason Ricci is not only a Grammy-winner on his chosen instrument but an uncompromising and unique personality, as any Google search will reveal. This match made in heaven came about after James bought a Nick Curran album. ‘I heard Jason there, sent him an email and away we went…’ Check out his playing on ‘Blackwood Boogie’, ‘Sky Turned Red Part 1’ and ‘You Make Me Mad’.

Bill Kirchen, another Yank whom James Oliver describes as ‘a legend and one of my guitar heroes’, was introduced to him by the aforementioned Steve Elsdon. Hearing that James had missed out on seeing the former Commander Cody guitarist play, Steve helped set up a Cardiff gig at which Glas could open. The admiration proved mutual, and the solo on ‘Translucent Love’ is the result. You can sense the baton passing between generations, though hopefully Bill will carry on astounding us for some time yet.

Ask James where he wants Glas to be in five years’ time, and he’ll tell you ‘playing as many, if not more, gigs than now and with a few more CDs under our belt.’ But my bet is we’ll still be coming back to this one. ‘It’s kind of self-titled…our first proper CD, I’d say.’ (Glas is Welsh for blue.) Much of it was recorded in Berry Hill Studios, Monmouth, under the supervision of former Love Sculpture bassist John David, so little wonder the sonics are both contemporary and pleasingly retro. The guitar parts took shape at Red Rock Studios in Pengam with Lyndon Price.

The other T-shirt I still wear is Neil Young – as it happens, another guitar hero in the Glas camp. He proves you can take the energy of youth into later life, that the fire doesn’t have to go out with time. Hopefully the youthful blaze stoked up here by James, Dai and Huw will still be entertaining audiences not only in Wales but worldwide for many enjoyable years to come.

Michael Heatley (XL)



Rob W

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Re: Glas
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2018, 01:39:12 PM »
And just to mention, there is a Man connection in addition to their playing with Deke, and supporting them in Wales...

They've had a personnel change.  ;D  :D