Into Music Live Review: Teenage Fanclub
Concert: Teenage Fanclub
Venue: Glasgow SWG3
Date: 06 April 2022
As with many records released during Covid, Teenage Fanclub‘s plans to tour their 10th studio album Endless Arcade were somewhat curtailed. Fast forward a year or so and we find the band ready to introduce the new tracks (and choice back catalogue cuts) to their home crowd in Glasgow before they kick off a five week tour of Europe.
The band start with the title track from Endless Arcade, penned by guitarist Raymond McGinley who said of it:
I think of an endless arcade as a city that you can wander through, with a sense of mystery, an imaginary one that goes on forever….
McGinley provides the main vocal and it’s a firm stamp on what develops into a genial and becoming gig in familiar surroundings. The opening trio of songs include Warm Embrace and Home, all from the latest album and they fit like a glove with the more well known tracks that are interspersed throughout the set. The latter track Home, showcases the drumming talent of Francis MacDonald and some great guitar interplay from McGinley.
A solid start albeit some intermittent problems plagued the sound but hey, it was the first night of the tour, the audience were on side and the issue was quickly put to bed. Next up, About You oozed harmony, melody, LA slacker, beach sunsets, and dreamy psychedelia that (quietly) screamed perfection.
Back In The Day was a highlight, another track from Endless Arcade. The album sees six tracks from McGinley and six from Blake, who was going through a relationship breakdown at the time and the lyrics seem deeply personal and reflective of that time. Following on, Everything’s Falling Apart saw McGinley take the lead vocal, Euros Child’s keyboards adding a key dimension as the track evolved into a post punk classic that the crowd absolutely devoured.
Old favourite My Uptight Life takes things down a notch, the band really demonstrating their musical dexterity, slowing down and spreading their musicality – one for the purists.
The Concept, what is there left to say? Actually, quite a bit. The crowd bounce, the band respond, oh yeah … a masterpiece.
The band depart before returning for a fantastic encore. I hadn’t actually heard the new track I Left A Light On (released two days prior) but it was sensational. With John McCusker (violin) and Stu Kidd (mellotron) on stage, it was a moment in time, the instruments melting together, melodic, glorious, perfect. There seems to be a thing right now on social media around the top 10 TFC songs via the hashtag #TeenageFanclubTop10. Lists are kinda boring in many ways for obvious reasons, but this I do know, I Left A Light On will swiftly land as an absolute favourite for many.
Last up, debut single Everything Flows goes down a storm. A grunge wig out that sees the band expand, explode and finish with a fervent blast.
Keep up to date with all things Teenage Fanclub via their website here.