For just over an hour Crystal Castles may have had the sold-out crowd bouncing, but such was the mindless nature of practically every song it was a show more memorable for the energy it inspired than the music played. Indeed musically the Canadians offered so little at times, it was left to the lights to provide the entertainment.

Repetitive beats, uninspired arrangements and an overly formulaic approach contributed to making this an entirely unrewarding experience, unless you count a headache and sore eyes as a treat.

Deciphering, hearing or indeed caring about Alice Glass’s woeful vocals was nigh on impossible throughout. Instead what provoked the biggest response were her frequent bouts of crowd-surfing. Watching her delivery was akin to seeing a petulant toddler throw a tantrum, albeit a toddler armed with a bottle of whiskey.

The only real highlight came when she threw her microphone into the crowd and walked off stage – that was definitely worth cheering but only because it signalled the end of a gig devoid of an any redeeming features.

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It’s unfortunate that most of us in attendance at the Captains Rest tonight couldn’t actually see just how Maps & Atlases were conjuring up their unique folk, prog math-rock fusion.

With the ‘stage’ a mighty 6 inches off the ground it was just about possible to see the odd bearded head flash by as the band worked their way through sprawling arrangements driven by complicated rhythms, twisting and turning like a mellow Foals.

Sometimes the twists and turns took you on series of sonic journeys while other times a musical cul-de-sac made penetrating and deciphering their musings difficult.

The balance was best struck on The Charms. Taken from their debut album Perch Patchwork, the numerous pieces of the Maps & Atlases jigsaw fell into place on the back of Chris Hainey’s stutter-step drumming. Sadly seeing Hainey’s percussive skills in full flight was impossible without a pair of stilts.

Without the visual element it wasn’t the most engaging performance but musically there was enough going on to keep ears tuned in.

Another year another NME tour. Tonight’s Radar event like previous outings saw three bands, deemed by the NME to be ‘on the radar’, thrown together and packed off to play the country’s smaller venues.

Judging by tonight’s crowd the NME still wields some influence, even if it is just among its dwindling readership. However, if these are the bands that should be on our radar then British indie is in a terrible state.

The Joy Formidable have been around for a long time compared to Chapel Club and Flats and, while that time has been well-spent honing their live shows, they again showed tonight they’re missing those killer hooks required to take them off this ‘radar’ and into the mainstream.

Middle of the bill, Chapel Club showed promise with their shoe-gazey guitar-scapes but for the main part were let down by vocals which lacked resonance, character or apparent self-belief.

As for tonight’s openers Flats, despite possessing passion and intensity in spades their ragged fusion of punk, indie and metal felt convoluted and messy – angry, yes but more importantly aimless.

Playing the last night of his UK tour, the final push to promote debut solo album Fly Yellow Moon before heading back into the studio to finish mixing The Guillemots new record, Fyfe Dangerfield eventually ambled on stage after technical difficulties had delayed proceedings.

When he did get down to business he headed straight to the metaphorical middle-of-the-road and never looked back. Mixing dull stripped-down ballads with overblown pop-rock songs, the sold-out crowd may have lapped up the early stages but as the set progressed, minds seemed to wander, voices raised and the bar got busier.

With his overall performance feeling insincere due to the combination of banter and shtick, including the customary audience participation on High On The Tide, insipid lyrics and an at times schmaltzy delivery, it was hard to buy into his singer/songwriter pains and fears.

Songs like Livewire, Faster Than The Setting Sun and top 10 single She’s Always A Woman may possess obvious chart-friendly hooks but they lacked that most important ingredient when it comes to the singer/songwriter, the power to convince.

Two years on since The Vaselines reunited at Glasgow’s ABC, Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee have recorded new album Sex With An X, got a new live band together and racked up some much-needed time on the road.

Tonight playing the intimate surrounds of Oran Mor, there was a real sense of urgency and no shortage of energy as the five-piece rattled through openers Oliver Twisted, The Day I Was A Horse and I Hate The 80s.

Strangely for a hometown gig, atmosphere was thin on the ground. Possibly a result of an overly long set list and the inevitable lulls that ensued, often Kelly and McKee’s banter proved more entertaining than the music as too many songs failed to distinguish themselves.

Support band, Glasgow trio Haight-Ashbury proved an altogether more compelling proposition thanks to their psychedelic folk fusion. Sure a tendency to over complicate some songs did detract from their potency but on the whole their imaginative arrangements and darkly bewitching melodies made it a set to remember.

After four albums, through which his song writing talents grew exponentially, Josh Ritter’s fifth album seemed to see the infinitely amiable Idahoian hit something of a plateau.

However this year’s follow-up So Runs The World sees Ritter back to his best, with a collection of songs which look to both past and future.

Having spent time at university in Edinburgh, Ritter has a strong affinity with Scottish crowds and vice versa, so tonight was a homecoming of sorts and one which he and his Royal City Band clearly relished.

His infectious enthusiasm manifested itself in a beaming smile throughout and the occasional jump for joy, while the wealth of beautifully-crafted songs made the crowd hang on his every lyric, every melody. Little wonder given the rousing Americana of Good Man, Wolves, Lillian and the shimmering beauty of The Curse, In The Dark – appropriately enough played in the dark – and new favourite Change Of Time.

Of course no Josh Ritter show would be complete without his whimsical musings between songs – cactuses’ ability to grow in Scotland and biscuit-pinching squirrels just two of tonight’s topics.

“I’ve been pining for you. We were in Ireland last week … I could see you. You’re my people” Jeff Tweedy told tonight’s Barrowlands’ crowd with a wry smile on his face. Even the most cynical punter would have struggled to find Tweedy’s sincerity disingenuous such was the way he and his band carried themselves throughout tonight’s two-hour set.

Finally managing to fit in a Scottish date in support of their latest album, Wilco – The Album, the six-piece’s take on American indie, although worthy of wider acclaim, is still considered an outsider commodity. Perhaps that’s why every jagged guitar line, every sublime lyric delivered with emotion and belief by Tweedy was so eagerly received by the audience.

Generating a glorious cacophony of distorted guitar coupled with Glenn Kotche’s deft flicks and rolls, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart provided an early highlight. From then on in, the energy of the performance along with songs like Jesus, Etc. and Via Chicago ensured the crowd was sent home sweaty but happy.