The Lemonheads – SWG3 Galvanisers Yard, Glasgow – 09/02/19

My first visit to Glasgow’s SWG3 saw me taking in the Lemonheads, which was a true blast from the past.

These days, it’s primarily Evan Dando with a select group of interchanging backing musicians, but the tunes remain, as does Evan’s glorious laid back drawl.

With the band touring the recently released Varshons 2 album, an album of covers of artists as diverse as Lucinda Williams, The Eagles, Nick Cave and Yo La Tengo, the setlist was heavier on songs by others than it was with The Lemonheads own back catalogue.

Despite this, they kicked off with four stone-cold Lemonheads classics – ‘Hospital’, ‘Great Big No’, ‘It’s a Shame bout Ray’ and then ‘Rudderless’. From there, the set wandered between slightly deeper cuts, like ‘Tenderfoot’ and Dando’s solo ‘My Idea’ and the aforementioned covers such as Lucinda William’s ‘Abandoned’. With little to no interaction between Evan and the crowd, and the songs coming one after the other it did give me a slight feeling of detachment from what was going on on the stage. It was pleasant enough, but not really much to get overly excited about.

This did change when they dropped in the occasional ‘Big Gay Heart’, ‘Being Around’ or a brilliant version of ‘The Outdoor Type’ and pulling out covers by Eugenius and Teenage Fanclub was something that the Glasgow crowd appreciated.

The first of two encores consisted of a solid cover of Yo La Tengo’s ‘Can’t Forget’ along with a glorious rendition of ‘Into Your Arms’ before Dando finished the night with the crowd matching him word for word on ‘Frank Mills’.

Whilst the evening did end on that high note, I couldn’t help but be left with a feeling that it could have been better. The band were fine, but rather than a host of covers, I think I wold rather have had some new Lemonheads musiC to complement the old favourites. Hopefully, next time.

Graeme Campbell

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