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Review of Lemonheads live at Longhorn, Stuttgart - March 1991

by Everett True from Melody Maker

Nice chaps. I realise that this in itself isn't much of a recommendation when it comes to making music which fires the belly and fills yer ass with the desire to wobble, but there you have it: Lemonheads are nice chaps. And this behavioural pattern spills into their music.

For when they're not rockin' their hair back and forth and filling opur ears with sweetest urgency American guitars can muster, they slip easily into the type of lovelorn ballad that only post-adolescent boys of a certain heritage can hope to perform with such aplomb. Angst, that's their middle name (actually, Evan's middle name is, "No, I would rather not have my penis plaster-casted for eternity, thank you very much and if it's all the same to you, girls are not objects to be used up or fawned over, but people in their own right who break my heart every damn time they look at me", but that's a different story and as such deserves to be used in a different context).

Look at it this way - they have a saying in Yugoslavia (you knew I'd come round to that, didn't you?). No, hang on, lets mention their songs first: the rush of adrenalin which epitomises their own material ("Mallo Cup", "Left For Dead","Hate"); the wretched hopelessness of knowing that another day will bring the same as today only worse, as shown by their adventures into cover-land, "Different Drum" (a Mike Nesmith original, you'd better believe it kids), and "Luka" (Vega, you damn fools); and plain old fashioned despair, as typified by songs like... oh damn, I've lost the set-list. But always, and forever, Lemonheads songs are about relationships (they do hail from Boston, via Harvard, after all).

Time for the saying. You know how some relationships are; when one person argues so (gestures away from body with the right hand) and the other person so (gestures away with left hand). The hands start together, but continually diverge until the two people in the relationship are like so (crunches up right hand into knuckled fist and slams it into palm of left). And that's what Lemonheads songs are all about. Main man Evan Dando is the palm into which the first is repeatedly slammed.

Prudence tells me I should mention the concert somewhere. And the word, skedaddle (Maker word of the week, pop-kids!). Hmm, could be tricky. Okay, so the show is held in a big long assembly hall which doubles as a C&W club for American GIs at weekends, and could doubtless benefit from having some sheets of metal hanging down from it's ceiling (the sound diffuses to easily, see). In fact, often, the sound skedaddles out of the arena. But this matters not one jot to the hoards of ravenous, humourless Germans who stage-dive with a ferocity not seen since Steve Sutherland threw Paul Lester from the 26th floor last Monday.

Oh, bugger off the lot of you. I'm going back to bed.

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