The Lemonheads live at Leadmill, Sheffield
10th May 2007
Review by Danielle Millea of egigs
The Icarus Line are not a bit like The Lemonheads; more rock and roll like T-Rex. Thumping drums, strong vocals and the attitude to match, these guys are too scary for young kids and the elderly, or anyone with a heart defect.
The Lemonheads are twenty-five minutes late on stage. This would not be a problem if the venue didn’t have a strict ten o’clock curfew for some sort of club after the gig. This gives us only an hour of the Dando and friends. The band realise this and communicate throughout the set, choosing the best songs to play in the short amount of time they have.
With no barrier up tonight the crowd can get up close to the stage. There is not a huge amount of people here; nice and cosy which plenty of room to move about. Which is good when you hear all the songs from your youth coming at you. Dando has chosen to play a crowd-pleasing set, only playing a couple of new tracks, the rest from ‘It’s A Shame About Ray’, ‘Come On Feel The Lemonheads’ and ‘Car Button Cloth’. A fan’s dream.
‘Confetti’ and ‘It’s A Shame About Ray’ are played early. There is a problem with Dando’s vast array of pedals (all labelled up), and after an arrangement with the leads its off again. The shaggy-haired nineties pin-up may be no wonder-kid on the guitar, but he can make it wail and it has to be said he still looks good at forty.
There is hardly any conversation between band and fans tonight as the former steam-roll through as many classics as possible, ‘Great Big No’, ‘Hospital’, ‘My Drug Buddy’, ‘Alison’s Starting To Happen’ all coming at you so fast that they at times start to blur, though you manage to sing along, priding yourself on remembering the words from so long ago.
Dando is left along in what is arguably the best part of the set. Again his guitar skills still leave a little to be desired but his vocals provide the atmosphere for such greats as ‘The Outdoor Type’, ‘Into Your Arms’, ‘Being Around’ and the fabulous ‘Frank Mills’. All of these prompt sing-a-longs from the crowd, even though some verses are missing.
Dando’s friends on this tour are the same as last years jaunt; bassist Vess Ruhtenberg and drummer Devon Ashley, both of The Pieces. They are always watching Dando for cues and trying to predict the unpredictable. Many times he will shorten a song or finish a song with random wailings, and they do a brilliant job of keeping it together.
There isn’t really time for an encore; the full band appear on stage for ‘Style’, ‘Down About It’, ‘Rudderless’ and the requested ‘Hate Your Friends’. Dando announces that they are going to ignore the curfew and keep playing, trying to make up for last time. After ‘If I Could Talk I’d Tell You’, the club music comes over the speakers and the house lights come on.
Dando is not ready to leave just yet, and grabs his acoustic for one more, forcing the venue to turn their music off. The gig overruns by only fifteen minutes, and although some may say the set was too short and therefore it’s a bit of a rip off, it’s worth every penny to hear so many good tunes that take you back.