Teenage Fanclub / Zoey van Goey / We Were Promised Jetpacks – Fat Sam’s Live, 27th October 2008
We Were Promised Jetpacks
Myself and Teenage Fanclub go back a long way but this is the first time I’ve paid to see them as headliners since the early 1990s. In fact I don’t think I’ve bought a Fanclub LP in 10 years, largely because once they’d shaken off their early grunge influences, I started to find the records a bit predictable. But the chance to see them again playing with We Were Promised Jetpacks in support was too good an opportunity to miss.
Given that they’d been getting second billing in the pre-gig publicity, it was a surprise when Jetpacks were first on stage at about 8pm. The crowd was undoubtedly less than they would have hoped for but if they were bothered by it, it didn’t show in the performance.
It was a typically energetic performance and it seems that the Jetpacks are now two thirds of a way towards a third generation set. Only ‘Ships With Holes Sink’ and the mighty ‘Quiet Little Voices’ survive from last year’s set and there’s no room for either ‘Moving Clocks Run Slow’ or ‘Let’s Call This A Map’.
Despite their dazzling growth in the last couple of years there’s no sign of their ambition being limited as they prepare to record their debut LP. In fact, whilst the newer songs remain recognisably WWPJ, they just seem to ignore conventional boundaries and come up with something different every time. That’s best illustrated perhaps by opener ‘Keep Warm’ with its extended intro and abrupt time change. An all too brief 6 song set ended with the aforementioned ‘Quiet Little Voices’.
Zoey van Goey
Since I last saw Zoey van Goey they seem to have acquired a bass player in a De Rosa t-shirt, which can’t be a bad thing but they surprise me a little with their opening tune, a thoughtful folky number. Their fun side however doesn’t remain in check for long and the remainder of the set is much more how I remember them from last year – bright, perky pop music. The between song banter (principally a story told in serial form involving drunken student super heros) fits in perfectly with the music. As a live experience I think they’re good fun, but I’m not sure that the records wouldn’t be a little twee for my tastes.
The headliners’ set made a particularly strong case for Teenage Fanclub as one of Scotland’s finest guitar pop bands. The songs throughout were superb and I was a little surprised that a) I knew more than ¾ of the tunes and b) that I could identify the LPs they’re taken from without thinking despite not listening to many of the records in recent years.
If there’s a criticism then it was that the set felt a little one paced although the introduction of the likes of ‘Sparky’s Dream’ and ‘Radio’ in mid-set, did give the whole show a welcome boost. But overall it’s an excellent show to complete a good evening.
If there’s a finer song in the Fanclub back catalogue than this next one, which was the highlight last night, then I’ve yet to hear it: