Live at the Bluebird Theater, the Fannies were just about perfect.
BY BEN CURNETT
Teenage Fanclub makes big music using some fairly simple tools. Take the humble glockenspiel for instance. Founding member Norman Blake has obviously mastered the instrument, commanding the five-note run on other-founding-member Raymond McGinley’s “Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From,” like a veritable virtuoso of glockenspiel goodness. Most other 30-plus-years-and-eleven-studio-albums-of-Scottish-power-pop bands might say, “No! No glockenspiel for us.”
Not Teenage Fanclub. Thank god.
That particular tune came about halfway through a beautifully retrospective set at Denver’s Bluebird Theater last week when lucky Denverites braved the snow for the first Teenage Fanclub show in town in seven years. Openers Love Language played a high energy set full of melodic southernish rock, bringing to mind a pre-fame and fortune Kings Of Leon, full volume and lots of fun. This was before anyone knew anything about the presence of a glockenspiel, so, y’know … it was pretty raw. Maybe that wasn’t the right fit for the subdued, steady sounds of our staid indie staple headliners, but more than one other person I knew at the show left with brand new The Love Language vinyl.
When Teenage Fanclub took the stage, there was at least some trepidation about the noted absence of still-another founding member Gerard Love, who recently left the band. “It’s as amicable as it can possibly be,” said Love of the departure, and should we expect anything else from people who create music like this? No we should not. If it’s possible to hear well wishes upon a band breakup through the music of its remaining members, that was the message that permeated the show. There’s a lot to choose from with nine albums in the universe, and gems were picked, including the genre-defining “Alcoholiday” and the haunting “Only With You.” “Hold On” and “I’m In Love” solidly represented the newer stuff, and the new single “Everything Is Falling Apart” shoved aside any fears that the band is losing its step. The set closed with “The Concept,” which had been left out of tours past. It’s pretty fantastic to see the band continuing to tour and create great new music. My only hope is that we don’t have to wait another seven years before their next visit.
Teenage Fanclub’s new single, “Everything Is Falling Apart” is out now on Merge Records.
Everything Is Falling Apart
I Don’t Know
Only With You
Your Love Is the Place Where I Come From
I Don’t Want Control of You
I’m in Love
My Uptight Life