The Rapture, Futureheads
Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow.
It is left to the support act, Futureheads, to offer an explanation, rather than an apology, for the late running of a show that gives the sense that it is on the point of organisational collapse throughout.
An hour-and-a-half after doors open-time those of us in the queue outside have the dubious pleasure of being forced to listen to The Rapture’s soundcheck. Aside from the information about the PA problems and appearing to be a likeably earnest bunch, they have little to recommend them. They could learn a lot from the headliners about showmanship, audience interaction and, most importantly, songwriting.
If The Rapture’s lengthy journey in support of their Echoes album has achieved anything, it has turned them from a slightly stiff and frequently out of tune outfit into one that is surprisingly tight and can turn awkward constructs like “Heaven” and “Sister Saviour” into terrace-style singalongs. ‘House of Jealous Lovers’ (the best song to emerge from the new wave of post punk) is no longer the centrepiece of their show, but along with “Open Up Your Heart” and “I Need Your Love,” it suggests a real feel for funk and disco.
Of course, other parts of The Rapture’s performance grate: the screechy vocals can be overdone, the retrospection oppressive (though the opening version of Psychedelic Furs’ “Dumb Waiters” is excellent) and the over-deployment of the saxophone inexcusable.
At a career crossroads, their next album will determine whether they can take what they have (the best live show ever to begin with a sax solo) into the stadia they appear to crave.