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Teenage Fanclub – Whitley Bay Playhouse – 16nov16


Ah man… Teenage Fanclub. The eternal support band. Just thinking about the last time I’d seen them and I think they were supporting the Soup Dragons at the Riverside, however… the fog of time often befuddles my mind, so… I could be wrong.

Wednesday night, a ticket has generously plopped into my hand, and the venue is Whitley Bay Playhouse. Now… I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I’ve seen a couple of films at the Playhouse, courtesy of Whitley Bay Film Festival, and a couple of those… “An audience with…” things, and I see that it’s pushing the Christmas Panto, Aladdin, in case you’re interested?… oh no… you’re not!” Oh well! But I did wonder how a band might work there. I’m not a great fan of seats at gigs at the best of times, and generally try to avoid them wherever possible. Live music is inherently a dancy, jumpy, bouncy, moshy thing to me… or increasingly in my old age a standy, foot tappy, head noddy, Guinessy supping thing. Regardless, it’s not a sitting down in a cinema seat thing.

We vowed a while back… that if we couldn’t say something nice about a gig, we’d say nowt… but c’mon… as a music venue, I’m just about pushed to the edge of politeness. They’ve even got a no-photo policy, enforced by finger waving staff who pounce at any luminous flicker of a smart phone and hover menacingly at the end of the aisle… like… teachers shushing children for talking in assembly!

Honestly… *sigh*

Gig. Missed the support, apologies to Spinning Coin, but at £4.40 a pint, in the Playhouse, we’d camped out in Weatherspoons till nearly 9 instead.

I’m sure it’s been said before but, it appears that Teenage Fanclub’s, fanclub have grown into a middleage fanclub, with some approaching oldage fanclub, myself probably included, and is manifest in the sea of bald and greying heads in front of me. Maybe, it’s best we’re sat down, just in case someone puts their hip out.

But to tell you the truth, they’re still very good, (despite the venue, trying its best to suck the life out of the gig.) In my humble opinion, the older stuff still packs the punches, and by that I probably mean pre 2000… my God I’m ancient. But then again they have a back catalogue of 10 albums, to choose from, and there’s just about something from nearly every album played here tonight, right back to the 26 year old, *sigh*… Everything Flows, from Catholic Education which actually closes the night.

Highlight for me was the last half a dozen songs, when the crowd finally got off their arses and out of their seats. Sparky’s Dream still holds a very special place for me of course and I’d gladly put up with even the Playhouse just to hear that one song played live.

Set List (Courtesy of setlist.fm, who am I to argue?)

Start Again (SFNB)

Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything (S)

Hold On (H)

I Don’t Want Control of You (SFNB)

Thin Air (H)

Verisimilitude (GP)

Don’t Look Back (GP)

It’s All in My Mind (MM)

My Uptight Life (Ho)

I Have Nothing More to Say (H)

About You (GP)

The Darkest Part of the Night (H)

I Need Direction (Ho)

Did I Say

Your Love Is the Place Where I Come From (SFNB)

Ain’t That Enough (SFNB)

I’m In Love (H)

Sparky’s Dream (GP)

The Concept (B)


With You (H)

Radio (13)

Everything Flows (CE)


By Dave on November 18, 2016

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