Teenage Fanclub played their first Scottish show in years as part of the Tennents Mutual Series, and Clash was there to give you the lowdown.
Its hard not to approach a Teenage Fanclub gig without a certain amount of excitement. This is after all the band Cobain called “the best band in the world”, the act that inspired the moniker of much missed Scottish independent music bible ‘Is This Music?’ and whose sound pretty much assembled the entire foundations for the Attic Lights album we’ve been enjoying of late.
But before we give you a rundown on The Fanclub’s immeasurable influence, lets just say they still challenge the laws of defiance like every great band should. “My amps F*cked” cackles singer Norman Blake as the band emerge, before a tale unravels about a pedal being nicked from the band the last time they played this city, only for them to encounter the thief years later and retrieve the gear. Regardless of their status, the Fanclub seem to have contained the grounded air that inspired so many of their lyrics, and tonight, its clear they’re having alot of fun too. It’s not until they unleash their string of power-pop classics, however, that you are truly reminded of their greatness.
From the surf-melodics of ‘Sparky’s Dream’ to the ground-quaking amp assaults of ‘Verisimilitude’, it’s note-perfect, and the latter proves the band can still ignite a sonic bite awash with slacker feedback. Their effortless knack at crafting intelligent pop songs seems to be an inherent band fundamental, and they swap guitars and microphones at a rate that would give your average sound tech a panic attack. ‘Alcoholiday’ and ‘I Need Direction’ are some of the most honest, fuzz-laced jangle pop songs you’re likely to stuble across, and judging from a few knowing faces, their moniker still rings true. “We’ve ran out of time, folks” announces Blake as the curfew strikes. Nevermind, everyone present knows the music’s timeless anyway.