The Vaselines at SP20

Saturday, July 12

The Vaselines, the short-lived late '80s Glasgow band, built around Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, may not have been well-known to the world in the brief time they were creating joyously disaffected and rebellious pop songs together. But thankfully there was Kurt Cobain, who later turned millions onto The Vaselines through Incesticide and Nirvana Unplugged. To the die-hard adolescent Nirvana fans like me, who saw a bit of themselves in the troubled boy Kurt often sang about, The Vaselines' songs he covered impacted us just as much, to the point that getting our ears on the originals of "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun" became a necessity. Hearing the sweet but sour female/male vocalizing, the screw-you-screw-me lyrics, the cackling, distorted, jangling pawn-shop guitars, and the simple, charged backbeat pour out of the speakers for the first time was an inspiring, revolutionary musical moment I'll always cherish. How could those of us who are seeing them play for the first time say that can't happen again?

Sat., July 12, 7:40 p.m., 2008

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