Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix


I knew this story would have to come out some day.  It's one of those moments I'll remember for ever, and to this day it elicits a wince and a blush when I think about that night.

I can't remember what year it was (91? 92?) but I think it was the Bandwagonesque tour, well before Grand Prix came out.  While I didn't own the album (hey, why not?  It's even better than Grand Prix as I recall) I did love the songs and was determined to see them play.  As luck would have it, they were performing at my local pub (I've seen many international acts there but Selinas doesn't operate as a band venue any more, more's the pity.)  I couldn't get anyone else to come with me, as that was my heyday of dance dance dance and all my friends at the time thought jangly Kinks-evoking guitar-based pop was so several years ago, so I bought myself a solo ticket.  No biggie, I'd done that plenty of times.

I was a single girl then, and prone to party hard.  As I had done that week. When the evening rolled around I was feeling a little weary, so I thought I'd have myself a disco nap, set the alarm and left the light on (my sure-fire way of ensuring I'd wake up).  And woke up at 3 am, when I'm sure the band were into their fourth or fifth post-gig drink.

I can laugh about it now, but I've never seen them live.  DAMN IT ALL...



It wasn't until I started doing a little bit of research for this review that I realised I've actually seen Teenage Fanclub at the 1994 Big Day Out, when it was still at Sydney Showgrounds (a much more intimate location).  On the same day, I also saw Soundgarden, The Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins and The Ramones, so hopefully you can understand why the poor old Fannies slipped back into the forgotten recesses of my memory.

The thing that gets me about listening to Grand Prix (and, in fact, just about anything by Teenage Fanclub) is the fact this is a band from Glasgow.  The harmonies, sound and production are pure West Coast, reminiscent of everything from The Beach Boys and The Byrds to contemporaries The Posies and Urge Overkill (who were also on the bill at that magical BDO all those years ago).  These are one of the bands I heard much of over the years but never actually owned anything by them.  Bandwagonesque was probably the most discussed among my peers at the time, but this comes a close second.  I mean, how can you go past the pure bliss that is Sparky's Dream, for instance.  There is so much to like about this, I can't help but smile when I listen to it.  It probably means we have to add yet another few discs to that growing list, Mine.

Now, if only I could actually remember that show all those years ago...


For more information: http://www.teenagefanclub.com/

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