As anyone who knows me will confirm, I love a night out. Combine an evening of beer and good music, and I’m pretty much as happy a man as you could ever hope to meet. So it was with a glad heart and a spring in my step that I set off to meet up with an old friend to see the Ballet in Glasgow’s Glad Café.

I recently heard and loved the Ballet’s album, ‘We Blame Society’, and I was excited at the prospect of seeing them in the flesh. It pains me to say it, though, but they just didn’t do it for me in person.

This was my first time at the Glad Café, and I fell in love with it instantly. It has a real laid back air, comfy seats (I’m getting to that age), a nice selection of food and drink and a generally relaxing ambience. My friend and I bought ourselves a drink (the cider is magnificent), and headed into the ante-room where the evening’s entertainment was to take place.

In a small venue, it seems, there is nowhere to hide, and the Ballet were exposed as, if I’m honest, woefully incompetent as a live act. Their two man show started badly, and quickly descended to the level of a Hipster High School disco. For a group who demonstrated so much promise on record, I found them sadly lacking as live act, with poor playing, poor vocals and a general air of disorganisation prevalent throughout their mercifully short set. My disappointment was undoubtedly increased by the fact that, on record, they sound fantastic.

I like to think that I caught them on a bad night. In fact, I would probably go and see the Ballet again, simply because I do not believe that the dismal standard of their performance could be repeated by a band who sound so good in a studio.

As we headed back into the city centre after the gig, there was a sense of stunned silence between my friend and I, a feeling of “did that really just happen?” That said, we soon put it behind us, chalked it up to experience, and enjoyed a few drinks together while waiting for our respective trains home. Good friends make good nights, and sometimes good bands make them too. Sadly, this was not one of those evenings.

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Commenting On: Glad Café, Glasgow, 30/7/2013 - Ballet

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