Lemonheads live at Liquid Room, Edinburgh
8th May 2007

Review by David Pollock from The Scotsman

Two things sprang to mind while witnessing this date of the Lemonheads' comeback tour. The first was that Evan Dando must have had a hard paper round - the former drug-user and one-time "sexiest man alive" celebrated his 40th birthday recently, but you could be forgiven for thinking he was almost a decade older. The other was "Just how underrated were the Lemonheads?"

That's pop as opposed to grunge - while the Lemonheads were affiliated with the latter scene, they were neither as mercilessly divorced from the 20th-century as Nirvana nor as relentlessly cacophonous as Dinosaur Jr. Instead, Dando has a Beach Boys-type knack for breezy pop songs, and he just played with the amps turned up to 11.

So it was here with new conspirators Vess Ruhtenberg on bass and Devon Ashley on drums (the Lemonheads' multiple incarnations were never much more than a vehicle for Dando anyway). The gorgeous summer melodies of My Drug Buddy, Alison's Starting to Happen and It's a Shame About Ray were still discernible beneath all the fuzz, while a departure such as Rick James Style - with it's numbing "don't wanna get high / don't wanna not get high" chorus - fitted this style perfectly.

Dando's lengthy solo acoustic interludes showed off his skill as a lyricist and songwriter the most. From the amusing The Outdoor Type to his telling Why Do You Do This To Yourself and the gorgeous Into My Arms, his back catalogue still echoes with distinctive charm.


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