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Teenage Fanclub

A band for which the word ‘quirky’ may have been invented, Teenage Fanclub had always possessed an infuriating knack of confounding expectations.

They promised so much with A Catholic Education (1990) and the majestic Everything Flows but celebrated joining the prestigious Creation label with The King, a frankly rubbish set of instrumental covers.

Having tested the patience of a once supportive music press, the knives were drawn for the Fannies when they released their masterpiece, Bandwagonesque (1991).

A high-water mark for the British indie scene’s obsession with the past, Bandwagonesque was steeped in rock tradition – Neil Young, Love, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Big Star, even a half-ironic nod to Status Quo.

But this was a time when dance music, shoe-gazing and the fading Madchester fad still ruled, and the Fannies were labelled ‘unimaginative’ – only for Suede and Oasis to be heralded as the future of British rock. Oh, the irony.

Bandwagonesque has so many highlights that you forget it’s only a single album. Three indisputable classic Nineties indie singles (The Concept, Star Sign and What You Do To Me), three beautiful tear-jerkers (December, Guiding Star and the instrumental Is This Music?), harmonies that would make Brian Wilson blush, and a warm, overdriven edge that united Sonic Youth with The Archies.

Norman Blake
Vocals, guitar
Raymond McGinley

Bass, vocals
Gerry Love
Bass
Brendan O’Hare
Drums
Joe McAlinden

Violin
Jim Lambie

Vibraphone
Francis McDonald

Drums