at Academy 2, Manchester
16th October 2006
Review by Danielle Millea from Gigwise
The 747’s have been an almost perennial support band this year – Orson, Mysetry Jets and now The Lemonheads just some of their notches. Despite this gruelling touring schedule, they exude enthusiasm and playing live seems like a doddle for them. Quite easily the best band to be named after an obscure plane incident, tonight they serve up a dish of honky-tonk music; plodding but in a catchy way. Tonight, organ chords, writhing guitar solos, steady drum beats and a winding bass backdrop are the cornerstone of their sound. A mightily impressive set.
Evan Dando is finally back after a near ten years absence (save some solo work) to bring back The Lemonheads. Good move, especially with the strength of the back catalogue played tonight. Opting to concentrate less on the new self-titled album and more on the songs that got him where he is, the set is an unending stream of good memories for the crowd. With the rest of the band made up of members of The Pieces - drummer Devon Ashley and bassist Vess Ruhtenberg – the night is a mixture of thrashing guitars, the odd jam, and a few solo acoustics by Evan, including ‘The Outdoor Type’, ‘Favourite T’, the excellent ‘Being Around’ and just one verse and chorus from ‘Into Your Arms’ (not forgetting the intro to ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’).
Add to that group efforts for many hits including ‘The Great Big No’, ‘Rudderless’, ‘If I Could Talk I’d Tell You’ and ‘It’s A Shame About Ray’, it’s a setlist from heaven for old school fans. Clad in floppy fringe and stripy t-shirt, Evan looks every part the unwilling sex symbol he did back in 1992, though, of course, a little older. Noticeably he’s singing more in tune these days; maybe he has been practising for his wife of six years, who inspired him enough to return to music. Let’s face it a lot of people are glad that he did.