at ABC, Glasgow
17th October 2006
Review by Ray Jackson from Glasswerk
Since the Lemonheads first hit the ‘big time’ their band line-up has time and time again gone under extensive surgery. So perhaps tonight it’s no surprise to see only one familiar face on stage.
Evan Dando recently returned with the critically acclaimed ‘Baby I’m Bored’, a solo album, which reminded us of the talents held by the Lemonheads frontman. So why tonight would he return to Glasgow’s ABC (a place which he’s previously performed as a solo artist) under the banner of The Lemonheads? Would the name ignite excitement amongst the grunge refugees in the Glasgow music scene? Would sales improve if he were to play under the title? Would people like myself burst with excitement at the chance to look out the ripped Levis and flannel shirt and once again bask in all the greatness of ‘pop-rock’?
One can’t help but appear cynical about the whole situation. But the obvious cash cow tactics aside, the new line up offer up the kind of straight-edged simple alternative tunes that are to be expected. With a new album ready for consumption, Dando and co are preaching mainly to the converted with their new selection of catchy tunes. In truth it wasn’t the most memorable gig of all time, but folk like myself wont have been left totally disappointed as they deliver a series of their most famous tracks. Classics like ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’, ‘Allison’s Starting To Happen’ and ‘Big Gay Heart’ for the most, keet sceptics like myself entertained.
After a small solo acoustic set in the middle from Dando, the other members return and play out the rest of the show. An action, which in itself is a clear reminder that The Lemonheads frontman is at his best when alone.
Mixed emotions fill me as the gig comes to a close and the failure to provide an encore confirms the doubts over tonight’s show. Those blinded by sentimentality in the crowd will no doubt swear it was great. The rest? Bring back the real Lemonheads.