April 24, 2024

Teenage Fanclub @ L2, Liverpool

Bring me my armchair, carpet slippers and pipe, I’m here to see Teenage Fanclub.

Time was that the Fanclub managed to form the missing link between 60’s pop-janglers The Byrds and grunge nihilists Sonic Youth.

The millennium edition of Teenage Fanclub, however, seem to be taking their cue from the former.

Slide guitars, an ever-increasing amount of pa-pa-pa’s and dangerous hints of a country rock influence, the sound is less Nirvana and more Nashville.

But for a band in their mid to late thirties, it would be a little ridiculous to see them attempting to be the equal of Korn or Limp Bizkit.

Hence, new album “Howdy!” gets a good airing, the pop perfection of “I Need Direction” and the dreamy “Cul de Sac” being heavenly moments of note.

But you suspect the audience, mainly consisting of thirty-somethings on their first night out in months, are here for something a little more familiar.

“Give us the Status Quo that it’s okay to like” you can predict them thinking.

Although extracts from the Quo-tastic “Bandwagonesque” are conspicuous by their absence, Fanclub aficionado’s are kept hungry by the inclusion of obscure early singles such as “Light Speed”, but it doesn’t get anymore dangerous then that.

As the band cawaltz through their set you get the impression that if they were any more relaxed they would be horizontal.

As the luscious harmonies of finale “Sparky’s Dream” drift out into the Liverpool night, like a well worn pair of slippers and the reassuring smell of a pipe, there really is nothing quite as comforting as Teenage Fanclub.

1st November 2000


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