THEY'VE been out of sight for most of the year – but Glasvegas are set to kick-start their return on Saturday night at the Garage.

The local foursome have rarely gigged this year, while working on their third album.

But the band will unveil several new songs this weekend.

"It sounds amazing, the record is done and we've drawn a line under it," says guitarist Rab Allen.

"Now it's just getting a release date sorted and then putting a single out. If you like Glasvegas then you'll love the record, as it's a natural progression from the first two.

"The way we're ending this year is the way we want to start the next one, just going for it."

The band's third album, called Later- When The TV Turns To Static, was self-recorded in Glasgow, with frontman James Allen handling production duties.

Before heading in to start recording, the band had already worked through all of the songs, which Rab reckons meant they had a strong vision of what was required.

"We went in having demoed the full album, and we'd played the whole album through live," explains the guitarist.

"Once you've done that, and have an idea of what you want, then you can go in and hit the ground running."

While fans will only get a taster of the new songs on Saturday, the band also intend to dip into their past, and deliver a few festive treats for their home fans.

"We love the older songs," says James. "We don't get a chance to play them all the time, so I think we'll do some of the Christmas album on Saturday."

There's a good feeling in the Glasvegas camp right now, having come through a difficult stage in the band's career.

After the huge success of their debut offering, the band's second album, Euphoric Heartbreak, wasn't a chart hit, and the group were unceremoniously dumped by Columbia Records.

Yet that seems to have brought the band together.

"It's the strongest the band has ever been since we started," claims Rab.

"There's a gang attitude with us now."

And Rab is looking forward to their current winter tour, as it will let the band debut new songs in smaller locations.

"I prefer the smaller shows," he says.

"Nobody ever asked us if we wanted to do really large shows, it was just assumed that you needed to be playing them. But we like the smaller venues more."

While the foursome has spent the year working on new songs, they have fitted in a few jaunts abroad. The most surreal of those trips was when they headed to China, an experience Rab will never forget.

"It was a place that we never thought we'd go to play," he says.

"We'd been to Japan a few times and then got the call asking us to go to China, so we went to Shanghai and then Beijing.

"We did all the tourist stuff like the Great Wall of China. We were just surprised that people knew who the band were when we sang these songs, but it was incredible."

Now they're happy to be back on home soil, as they prepare for a massive 2013.

"I used to go to the Garage when I was 18, to chase girls," chuckles Rab.

"I've never actually seen a gig there, but it's a Saturday night, it's sold out, and I'm really looking forward to it."

l Glasvegas, Garage, Saturday, sold out, 7pm.