Gig review: Teenage Fanclub, Glasgow

Local heroes Teenage Fanclub provided good vibes despite volume difficulties. Picture: Rob McDougall
Local heroes Teenage Fanclub provided good vibes despite volume difficulties. Picture: Rob McDougall
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BELLE & Sebastian as its opening concert, and Teenage Fanclub as its penultimate show this summer – the Kelvingrove Bandstand might as well be left to dereliction again, both of these local heroes each so appropriate to the lush setting having now played the open-air venue in its debut season since restoration.

Teenage Fanclub - Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow

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People of a certain age (men, especially) were out in force, fondly remembering an early 1990s era when Bellshill’s finest – these days bearing a striking resemblance to your dad – were so cool that Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain declared them “the best band in the world”, and Liam Gallagher “the second best band in the world” (after Oasis, naturally).

Frontman Norman Blake had a humorously fond recollection of “sniffing glue” in Kelvingrove Park as a teenager. The strongest thing on the band’s rider these days, he admitted, is a tub of Haribo. Neither sweets nor sweetness were in short supply, then, as these alt-rock arch melodicists sailed through such harmony-waxed songs to sway to as Ain’t That Enough, I Don’t Want Control of You and Baby Lee.

Volume levels at the bandstand need improving – rear sections were significantly short-changed. But when frustrated punters eventually rushed into the dead space in front of the stage during I Need Direction, sound quality and atmosphere alike seemed to improve. Sparky’s Dream and Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From saw bassist Gerard Love and guitarist Raymond McGinley respectively take lead vocal turns. As their 1990 debut single Everything Flows closed the show with a swelling four-guitar wig-out, good vibes like only vintage Teenage Fanclub can inspire flooded the amphitheatre.

Seen on 15.08.14