The Vaselines

Like many music fans my age, I first heard about The Vaselines thanks to Kurt Cobain. The Glaswegians, headed by the duo of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, released two EPs back in the ’80s, but disbanded shortly after the release of their full-length debut Dum-Dum. It wasn’t until 1992, when Nirvana released Vaselines covers “Molly’s Lips” and “Son of a Gun” as part of their excellent b-sides and covers record Incesticide, that the band started to gain the notoriety they so richly deserved.

Cobain and company provided yet another boost to Kelly and McKee’s legacy during Nirvana’s famed 1993 MTV Unplugged session, when the band covered The Vaselines “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” (previously titled “Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam”) in hauntingly elegant fashion with bassist Krist Novoselic switching gears to the accordion and featuring cellist Lori Goldston.

Despite these brief moments in the sun, Kelly and McKee forged their separate ways, not taking the stage together as a band for more than fifteen years. It wasn’t until the late ’00s that they reformed, eventually releasing their second studio album, 2010’s Sex With An X, following the release of merely two compilations during decade-plus break.

This past September, The Vaselines released their third LP V For Vaselines, following that with a European tour before hopping the Atlantic to the States earlier this month. The North American leg comes through the Independent tomorrow evening for the tour’s penultimate show. The setlist ought to be full of familiar classics and tracks off the two albums recorded since their reformation, the most recent of which was the product of Kelly seeing a Ramones cover band in Glasgow and then churning out a handful of short punk-inspired tracks.

V For Vaselines was self-produced and recorded at Mogwai’s Castle Of Doom Studio, engineered by Tony Doogan (Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai), and features a host of great musical contributions from the likes of Francis Macdonald (Teenage Fanclub) and Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian). Listen to album cut “One Lost Year,” which features Kelly and McKee once again creating some beautiful vocal harmonies, along with some great guitar licks at about the 1:58 mark:

Dig on one more number from this resurrected band of indie past – the hepped-up “High Tide Low Tide”, also off V For Vaselines – and then get full details on their show tomorrow night at the Independent.

The Vaselines, Loch Lomond
The Independent
January 27, 2015
8pm, $20 (21+)