at Carling Academy, Liverpool
12th October 2006
Review by Tim France from Glasswerk
I skip the majority of the 747s set, admittedly more by accident than by design. Their set, well the 3 songs I saw, were very tight but lacking in emotion or belief. It was all very run of the mill. This may've been due to the extremely quiet Carling Academy crowd who seemed to chat through the bands music and patiently applaud while waiting for tonight's heavyweight act, or it may be due to the scale of touring the band have been committed to with the push for the bands release of debut album Zampano. Sadly for them, a Liverpool gigging overkill and the hefty door fee meant it was a 'Lemonheads only' crowd tonight.
Suddenly without any warning and exactly at 9.00pm Evan and the new members stroll onstage with no fanfare. Evan with his choppy eye-concealing hair, looking effortlessly cool, and thick-buttoned black coat, points his guitar to the floor to create a feedback that Spiritualized would be proud before he tears through a 90 minute set that includes new songs, a huge number of his back catalogue including 'Down About It', 'Being Around', 'Bit Part', 'Confetti' and 'Alison's Starting To Happen', 'If I Could Talk I'd Tell You', 'My Drug Buddy', 'Rudderless' and 'Divan' and two acoustic sets of both Lemonhead songs, a cover of Gram Parsons obscure B-side '1000 dollar wedding' which he introduces by saying "here's a song none of you will have heard before", and some tracks from ‘Baby I'm Bored' the magnificent solo album which bared the majority of his output whilst the Lemonheads were disbanded- save for his front man role in the reformed MC5 and his live album.
Evan plays to the crowd by including a lot of songs from ‘It's a shame about ray', ‘Come and feel the Lemonheads (sic) ' and ‘Car Button cloth'- a refreshing change for an artist on returning from a 9 year hiatus and with a new record to promote. Dando wowed the crowd with his charm and with his beautiful voice, performing songs nearly 15 years old with the freshness of a song he'd written on the tour bus on the way to the show. His affection to his back catalogue proved to be matched by the older crowd who jumped and rejoiced for their favourite numbers. My personal favourites were ‘Outdoor Type' from ‘Car Button Cloth' and 'Why Do You Do This To Yourself?' from ‘Baby I'm Bored'. The first achingly self-aware and mocking and the latter a touching, questioning vehicle for his deep soulful vocals. As quickly as the band strolled on, the band depart, as Dando leaves the Academy with the new song ‘Steve's Boy' and then bolts from the stage. The Lemonheads are still as fresh now as they were in the mid nineties heyday, if they continue on the form it will be a bright future.