Band Of Horses – Glasgow, 02 Academy, 16/11/12

I’ve never quite managed to catch Band of Horses in their own show up until this point. I remember getting into them just after they played a show at King Tuts, and work cruelly denied me the opportunity to see them on their last visit to Scotland, back in early 2011. All I had to go on was an excellent performance on T in the Park’s Pet Sounds stage (RIP) back in 2008 on a fantastic day of music that included The Hold Steady, MGMT and Interpol. Band of Horses put on an excellent show that day, and two albums later, they arrived at the O2 Academy in Glasgow full of confidence and with four albums worth of material to perform to the gathering crowd.

Kicking off the set with ‘For Annabelle’ from their third album ‘Infinite Arms’, the band were straight into the groove as Ben Bridwell’s gorgeous vocals swept over the audience. The band has such a distinct sound, yet you can clearly tell the influences on a number of their tracks. ‘Dumpster World’ for example sounds uncannily like America’s ‘A Horse With No Name’ while the influences of acts such as Neil Young, The Beach Boys and The Flaming Lips are also evident throughout their discography. Fourth album ‘Mirage Rock’ has built more on the harmonies and Americana of ‘Infinite Arms’ as opposed to the sun kissed indie rock of the first two albums, although tracks such as ‘Feud’ recalls those earlier days.

The band has consistently grown in stature since the release of their debut album ‘Everything All The Time’ back in 2006 and this was a mature performance that showcased the band’s range superbly. The set was a perfect blend of new material and some of the band’s best tracks from their first two albums, including ‘Island on the Coast’, ’The Great Salt Lake’ and the quite literally haunting ‘Is There A Ghost’, which sent shivers down my spine.  One of the highlights of the gig was the gorgeous scenic backdrops used for each song, which complimented Ben Bridwell’s voice brilliantly. The set was a good length (although this did mean I had to nip away to the toilet before the end!) and covered most of my favourite tracks, while representing all 4 albums well.

A double salve of ‘Ode to LRC’ and their best known track ‘The Funeral’ completed the main set, before an encore that contained two covers. By this point, I had to nip away to the toilet, and unfortunately can’t provide much commentary on the final couple of tracks, which is a shame as ‘Monsters’ in particular, is a brilliant little song. This was a confident performance from a band that has reached a level where they are not only comfortable on stage playing together but are excelling at bringing a beautiful audio visual experience to their fans. I’d highly recommend taking the time to check out Band of Horses live at the next possible opportunity(and stick to spirits).

  1. For Annabelle
  2. Compliments
  3. Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
  4. Dumpster World
  5. Knock Knock
  6. Laredo
  7. Electric Music
  8. Older
  9. The General Specific
  10. Northwest Apartment
  11. Island on the Coast
  12. The Great Salt Lake
  13. Is There A Ghost
  14. Feud
  15. No One’s Gonna Love You
  16. Everything’s Gonne Be Undone
  17. Infinite Arms
  18. Ode to LRC
  19. The Funeral
  20. A Little Biblical
  21. Ain’t No Good To Cry (The Hour Glass Cover)
  22. Monsters
  23. Am I a Good Man (Them Two Cover)

Luke Watson

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