To those of us who take music seriously, we have certain bands that are just absolute staples. Certain sounds stand out as favorites. However, there are often other secondary groups that filter in later. Maybe it’s because they got more support outside the area you lived in. Maybe you just didn’t watch 120 minutes on the right evening to catch that specific band. There are few that may sneak in later in your life, and sometimes you just have to wonder how you “missed” a certain band. I went through a phase in the 90s where I was completely enamored with alternative jangle-pop; loving similar groups like the Smithereens and Matthew Sweet; but had never really dug into the music of Teenage Fanclub until more recently, as they were darlings to many who had similar tastes in music to my own. Bandwagonesque was on the lips and lists of important records of many of my colleagues and it only took hearing “The Concept” once to understand why.
Therefore, when the Scottish power pop icons were slated to play in my area on Thursday March 7th at Detroit’s El Club; I knew that I had to be there. Charming banter from front man Norman Blake and raw emotion propelled each song and fueled the audience throughout the setlist which kept a steady pace of old and new, for example, after highlighting the wonderful new song “Everything is Falling Apart” the band then played my favorite from “Bandwagonesque” immediately after; “Alcoholiday”. The songs continued to juxtapose old and new throughout the show.
The band’s tightly knit chemistry was apparent, with lead vocals changing between Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley, however all of the members contribute to vocals, giving an extra layer of melody to the already lush sound. The buzz of the guitars often shimmered but on tracks such as the lovely “Only With You” the band is much more subdued and the piano/synth sounds are captured and highlighted perfectly.
- About you
- Start Again
- The Cabbage
- Everything is Falling Apart
- Only with You
- Catholic Education
- The Darkest Part of the Night
- Your Love is the Place where I come From
- I Don’t Want to Control You
- Hold On
- I’m in Love
- My Uptight Life
- The Concept
- The Fall (Encore)
- Everything Flows (Encore)
As an added bonus, here is a playlist featuring the songs from the setlist
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