By Desh Kapur, Rock At Night Manchester
Venue: 02 Ritz, Manchester-12th February 2019
For a band that’s been around for nigh on 30 years, The Lemonheads are still best known for their front man Evan Dando and cover songs, especially their version of “Mrs Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel, which is still their biggest hit and the song responsible for launching them to world recognition.
Evan Dando’s battle with addiction and brief if not intense obsession with Oasis are well documented, losing his voice to crack and heroin and once after a LSD binge, it is claimed he asked his arresting officers if they could release him so he could go and find his mind.
Well two decades on, he is clean, seems to have got his shit together, has re-assembled his band and hit the road in celebration of all things Indie and Lo-fi and tonight was Manchester’s turn.
Strolling on stage, Evan looking beautifully disheveled, like someone who only shops in 2nd hand stores and at flea markets.
But it’s is all about the music in the end, isn’t it, and tonight it was a marathon set, 26 six songs covering three decades 10 albums and over 20 band mates.
But on this night. I felt the band weren’t on it, Evan Dando has always had that head down, get on, get off attitude when playing live, but from what I can remember he always had time for some sort of interaction with his fans and audience. Not tonight, they just seemed to play song after song with the odd mumbled word here and there. The mix let him down as his vocals were lost in it, but with that said the semi full O2 were loving it, and to be honest I was enjoying it myself, especially songs played from the two long players “It’s a Shame About Ray” and “Come On feel The Lemonheads”.
All in all, it was a mixed evening for me. At some points it was a fantastic trip down memory lane and the nostalgia that brings and at some points it was like wading through mud. I like The Lemonheads, especially the two albums I mentioned earlier, so I wont be slagging them off, but like it said on a lot of my school reports “Could do Better”.
The Lemonheads – Mrs Robinson
The Lemonheads – Into Your Arms
The Lemonheads – Confetti