Having never had the pleasure of seeing Teenage Fanclub live despite loving their music since the early 90’s I approached this gig with some trepidation, there is always that worry that they prove to be terrible live which might slightly sour my love for one of my favourite albums of all time, 'Grand Prix'. I came away fully aware of my stupidity for never having seen them play live before.
The fannies have been touring the UK playing all of their creation albums in full over the course of three-night residencies in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and finally London.
I attended the night they played two of their greatest albums, the afore mentioned 'Grand Prix' and 'Songs From Northern Britain'.
Any band that can put on gigs this polished, this well played and sung and yet feeling so warm and slightly chaotic at the same time are special, even broken guitar strings midway through songs and the roadies trying to noise them up didn’t cause them to break their stride.
The music couldn’t be better, one of the great travesties of the 90’s was that Teenage Fanclub were not one of the biggest bands in the world.
Listening to 'Grand Prix' live was for me a joyous experience, it was possibly one of the greatest gigs I’ve ever been to. As a band they don’t take themselves seriously, but the harmonies are still spot on as it the playing. Songs such as 'Neil Jung', 'Sparky’s Dream', 'Don’t Look Back' and 'Verisimilitude' were a joy to see played (The last still has the best song title ever in my view).
'Songs from Northern Britain was never my favourite album but having heard it live I’m now re-considering my view and listening to it again. 'Ain’t That Enough' was perfect.
Both albums are seamless, flowing pieces of work, which meant the two halves of the show worked, the flow of songs was perfect.
The venue was also excellent, it was my first time there, but I would happily go back.
Teenage Fanclub live is life affirming, if you haven’t seen them don’t make my mistake, do it before its too late!
Teenage Fanclub - https://www.facebook.com/teenagefanclub.music/
Review - Iain McClay