Bowery's House List blog and was written by esteemed 32ft/sec contributor and human machine, Noah.
Moments before Teenage Fanclub take the Bowery Ballroom stage, there is at least one conversation between fans in the venue that revolves around losing one's hair. It's a fitting subject, considering the band in question released its debut, A Catholic Education, in 1990.
The Glasgow foursome is touring in support of Shadows, its first album in half a decade, but the audience screams for guitar-driven anthems from years long past. Teenage Fanclub belongs to a different era, a statement that sounds like an insult but isn't. They didn't play Woodstock 1994, but they could have.
Sixteen years later, they rock for an hour and change, playing straight up, striped down, sunny tunes. Two-, three-, four-part harmonies, two guitars, a bass, a drum set, and a fifth member rotating between instruments. Teenage Fanclub mixes old favorites ("Declaw," "Like A Virgin") with cuts from Shadows ("Baby Lee"). An audience member shouts "no new stuff," but no one else seems to mind forays into more recent sections of the catalog.
The night's most charming moment comes before "God Knows It's True," a tune written two decades ago in New York City. Norman Blake admits the band hasn't played it live in some time. Then he proceeds to forget the song's beginning. On his second attempt, he screws up a chord and stops. He laughs. "It's just a B. Everybody knows a B," he says with an incredulous smile.
He shreds through the third take.
Listen :: Teenage Fanclub - "Baby Lee"
Listen :: Teenage Fanclub - "It's All In My Mind"