Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Lemonheads - The Ritz, Manchester

Unshaven and majestically dishevelled, a mysterious purple stain on his white shirt (along with the phrase 'Don't Jizz on Satan'), Evan Dando looks every part the 90's alt-rock-pin-up. Backed up by Todd Philips (drums), Jen Turner (bass) and Chris Brokaw (guitar), the band waste no time once they hit the stage, jumping straight into "Hospital".

While crowd-interaction was decidedly minimal, the band seemed relaxed and happy to be on stage; a stark contrast to the band's 2011 UK tour. Unlike with previous line-ups, this seems like a "real band" as opposed to just the Evan-heads, with Turner's unwavering enthusiasm being nothing less than infectious.

Part-way through the set, the band leave the stage and Dando (joined a few songs in by Brokaw) performs a handful of stripped down tracks, including "Into Your Arms", "The Outdoor Type" and "Being Around". "Frank Mills", sung acapella, was certainly a highlight here, with the whole crowd joining in with every word.

Turner and Philips re-joined the stage for a set consisting mainly of tracks from Come on, Feel the Lemonheads and It's a Shame About Ray, with the crowd bouncing and singing along to classics like "Confetti" and "Rudderless".

Some fans were no doubt disappointed at the band only performing one song - "Alison's Starting to Happen" - as an encore. I was happy, though I may be biased as that's, like, my second favourite Lemonheads song so...

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