at The Forum, London
6th October 2006
Review by James Coplin from Music News
Believe it or not, it's been 10 years since the last Lemonheads album, 'Car Button Cloth', with only the Solo album 'Baby I'm Bored' in the mean time to keep Evan fans cccupied.
Except for a couple of gigs a few months ago where the whole of Shame about Ray was played in it's entirety (minus Mrs Robinson of course! - Evan hates it) theres been no Lemonheads gigs for the best part of a decade. Everyone here tonight is positively salivating at the prospect of it...
The Band ( Evan and some other random geezers) come on stage to a rapturous applause and kick straight into 'Down About It'. No pissing about tonight! From the off they mean business, theres hardly a mutter of a word inbetween songs, maximising the amount they play for us, 35 songs in total tonight!!!
It's hit after classic after hit ,with the tracks off the new album holding their own alongside the old stuff. Tracks like 'Black Gown', 'Baby's Home', 'No Backbone' and the massive grower of a new single 'Become the Enemy' go down a storm, and although the new stuff hardly breaks any boundaries, who wants it to? Evan Dando has always known how to write a great 3 minute pop song and he's still doing it.
In the first half of the gig they get the crowd going with new tracks and classics such as 'Confetti', 'Great Big No', 'Ride with Me'... the list goes on. Evan still looks the cool hippy stoner he was 20 years ago before he chanced upon heroin and Courney Love, and nowhere near a man just round the corner from the big 4 0
For what we thought was gonna be an encore of a few Evan acoustic numbers we get gig part 2, including a couple of covers (John Denver + Gram Parsons). Evan kicks back in with 'Being Around' and a host of others that sound best stripped down to the bare bones, 'Songs like Frank Mills', 'Into your arms', 'My Drug Buddy' and 'Divan' all sound that much more personal when Acoustic.
He finishes off the night with on oldie and a newy, 'Stove' from the 1990 album 'Lovey' the closer 'Steve's Boy' from the new one.
I didn't see anyone leave the place without a huge grin on their face. OK, so the fact that he hasn't released anything for so long pretty much means it was hardcore Lemonhead heads there, but there wasn't much not to like about tonight. I could be picky and complain there were no songs from 1988s 'Lick' ('Mallo Cup' would've been nice) but with the Lemonheads back catalogue you're never gonna hear everything, and they did manage nearly the whole of '..Ray' over the course of the night. The only other thing missing was Juliana Hatfield, songs like 'Shame about Ray' and 'Bit Part' don't quite have the magic without her backing vocals... maybe next time Evan?