SOME 16 years after the release of their one and only album, emo pioneers American Football played a show in Scotland on Sunday for the first and possibly last time .

The Illinois quartet sold out SWG3 in Glasgow, the last date of their UK tour, despite it being both their first tour since releasing that album and their first string of shows ever outside the US. Though originally only a studio project during the late 1990s, the band’s self-titled debut record has become a cult classic and hugely influential within underground rock scenes.

Though emo was a prominent sub-culture in the mid-2000s, associated with depressed teenagers and pop-punk bands, bands such as American Football pre-dated this mainstream craze. Blending confessional lyrics with jangly guitars, jazzy trumpets and unorthodox time signatures, the band’s wistful sound has proven to be inimitable.

Their legacy has definitely left an imprint on support act TTNG anyway, who would have been teenagers when that iconic album first came out. Though two albums deep now, the Oxford trio still represent a new wave of British math- rock bands that have been undeniably inspired by American Football’s complex approach to guitar melodies.

Ironically, they decided to dispense with their more melodramatic earlier material in favour of playing more technically-minded pieces. Perhaps on a mission to impress their new touring buddies, the band admitted to “faffing” as they jokily went back and forth on which songs to play the Glasgow crowd.

There was no denying their appreciation though: lead vocalist Henry Tremain exclaimed mid-way through their set that he was glad that this was the last show because it meant he could sing along to American Football to his heart’s content.

It was perhaps strange to see a group of middle-aged men playing songs about teenage angst and childhood romance to a crowd of fans mostly in their 20s. However, rather than come across as a mere money-spinning exercise, their performance reeked of nostalgia.

The passion of the room was palpable as tracks such as Honestly? were heard for the first time, and the lyrical sentiment summed up the vibe of the whole night: “Honestly, I can’t remember all my teenage feelings and the meanings,” crooned Kinsella. “They seem too see-through to be true.”

Throughout their set, songs made several similar references to faded memories through autumnal imagery and searching rhetorical questions. The fact the band themselves have now aged so much only appeared to make the words more powerful.

Kinsella even reverted to his inexperienced youth by messing up the introductions to more than one track.

That’s not to say that the band’s performance wasn’t startlingly good. Every other track was instrumental, with drummer Steve Lamos’s trumpet solos a large part of the set.

The well designed order of the set gave the whole show a sense of narrative that built up nicely to closing track Never Meant, which remains arguably the most impressive musical statement to ever emerge from 1990s emo.

Though the band will be back in the UK for appearances at Reading and Leeds in the autumn, there was no indication that an album is forthcoming. Responding to a crowd member’s question on new material, he responded that we’ll hear something new by about 2030.

In the meantime, we may have to settle for multi-instrumentalist Kinsella performing on his own under the alias of Owen with more dates on the way.

It may be that American Football’s only Scottish show will be remembered as a singular moment in time.