Teenage Fanclub lit up the beautiful Leith Theatre last night with a stunning set. The band seemed super relaxed, even though Steven Black was standing in on bass for Dave who was expecting the imminent arrival of a baby. It was time to Start Again ... again.
Teenage Fanclub have barely let up with live shows since the 2016 release of Here. I make last night the 13th time I have caught them live in 3-years; Islington Academy in London, the ABC and Barrowland double header, a BBC Quay Sessions show, a couple of CCA warm up shows, a trip to Hebden Bridge, the Barrowland triple header for the Creation Years, the Bandstand show and then last night in the superb Leith Theatre, a really stunning venue. It is the busiest I can remember the band being and I look forward to seeing what they do next.
The sound and mix was absolutely spot on last night, the outro on Everything Is Falling Apart was sublime, the guitars on Metal Baby made me play a little air guitar (!), Euros improvising on keys and Steve Black playing with total confidence on bass, gelling brilliantly with Francis on drums.
Put My Faith In You is classic TFC, surely it will be the next single. Guitars chimed and Norman, Euros and Francis harmonised beautifully. Catholic Education fizzed, the guitars on Alcoholiday sounded heavenly and the band blitzed gloriously through I'm In Love.
Raymond was in fine form, Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From felt like a warm blanket being wrapped around the crowd and Verisimilitude received a great response and the closing section of My Uptight Life was absolutely beautiful with the crowd gently singing with Raymond;
Norman Blake has a smile that can light up any room and as he launched into The Concept by telling the crowd that he'd be on the last train to Bellshill with a carryout everyone in the venue was smiling with him. The closing instrumental with 3-part harmonies gets me every time.
Broken is so tender, melancholic and beautiful, it is always such a pleasure to hear this gem played live and as Blake and the band slowed down and faded out the crowd continued to sing. Not quite as beautifully as the Barrowland crowd last year (obviously) but enough to bring tears to the eyes of many.
There was a romp through a cover of Neil Young's Don't Cry, No Tears before a cracking rendition of traditional set closer Everything Flows with the guitars sounding superb.
It is always interesting to visit a new venue and I hope to return to Leith Theatre again in the future.