Glasgow Barrowlands: October 13th, 1990

barrowland“FOR those of us too tight or too wise to exchange a fiver for a programme, there was a glossy handout hyping the new album, Jordan: the Comeback. Analogous reference was made to Marvin Gaye and Shakespeare. Jordan, it proclaimed, was history’s best . . . heavenly . . . songs to die for etc. The artistry of Shakespeare, the soul of Marvin Gaye and five quid for a team sheet — what a treat must be in store!

“Trouble was, the Prefabs must have been reading the same propaganda. The songs were as sweet and syncopated as any studio recording. But the Barrowland is no studio and neither is it a heavenly place. It is an oversized saloon bar, latterly dedicated to the staging of rock’n’ roll shows. Paddy McAloon’s breathy love songs and wispy social commentary, heavenly as they are, were sadly out of place.

“Once, during Faron Young, Paddy leaned back, guitar on hip, right foot pumping up and down, and some of us woke up, but then it was straight back to promoting the dreamy, wistful new album and we drifted wistfully, dreamlike, back to the bar.

“But if Paddy McAloon was a little static, Wendy Smith was a mildly embarrassed mannequin who looked as if she’d rather be at home. Home, in fact, is a much better place to listen to Jordan — it is more suited to the CD than the Barrowland. Next album round, Prefab Sprout could do worse than consider the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, or my front room. “
John Swadel, Scotland Herald, 15th October 1990

“I am assuming the tour playlist was pretty consistant throughout venues. I don’t remember anything different or impromptu. Those of you who know the Barrowlands will testify to its suberb atmosphere and quality of sound. The place was packed and holds about 1900 folk. I loved the atmospheric Michael opening (although I know there are many who aren’t keen on the song). It was an excellent rock/pop gig and the whole place was jumping/bouncing. The support act was the Trash Can Sinatras, and they were good but not brilliant.

“The fact that Barrowlands only holds about 1900 folk all on feet, just made the whole event bounce even more. It’s a quality that I sometimes forget in that the floor was like a trampoline. I think ‘Looking for Altantis’ onwards you would think you were at a rock gig. People were going crazy (including myself) for the Sprouts. It all seemed a bit unreal as I never thought they could generate that kind of atmosphere. As I stated before the only downside was Wendy looking like she had lost a twenty and found a penny. I don’t think she was a fan of lager showers. Not sure how Paddy was with it, but he was the consumate pro from start to finish. If he ever had a dream of being a rock star, the dream was a reality that night!”

mcpherson35 from the sproutnet discussion board

The first band I saw though were Prefab Sprout at the Barrowlands. I can remember being surprised both by the strength of Paddy Mcaloons vocals as the eerie sight of a a lot of large scary looking blokes singing along to When Love Breaks Down.

Cathedrals of Sound blog

barrowlands stub

09 - Glasgow

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