The Lemonheads: The Leadmill, Sheffield

You just don’t know where you are with Evan Dando. One minute you’re bouncing along to Alison’s Starting to Happen, wondering how he came up with the ‘she’s the puzzle-piece behind the couch that made the sky complete’ line, the next you’re shaking your head and waving an angry fist at the man for bailing after 55 minutes because he ‘had to drive to Manchester.’

Initially billed as a solo gig, then changed to a Lemonheads gig, it was fair to say nobody really knew what they were in for; especially since Dando alienated all his new fans by not playing a single song from the last album. After crashing through the It’s a Shame About Ray album in its entirety, ED treated us to a rendition of Danzig’s Skulls (the uninitiated thinking that Evan really did want to put their head on a wall), and, I believe, a Lucinda Williams cover, during which Dando appeared to tire of our presence. A wimpy Hospital convinced me. Evan wanted to crash through his setlist and leave. And he did just that. But not before a blistering Tenderfoot.

This was my sixth Dando concert. It was never going to reach the dizzy heights of the Manchester 2001 comeback gig (Ben Lee and Ben Kweller supporting), but, after the first half hour, I thought we were in for something special. Instead, Dame Loose Cannon scurried off the stage without so much as an encore or a ‘Gimme your hands, cos you’re wonderful!’ Okay, he did give somebody a pick, but that wasn’t helping me standing at the back where real heroes are made. Odd behaviour from a man who in the same venue last year wouldn’t even let a curfew or the constant threat of the dreaded houselights stop him from playing one more tune.

Evan, we paid to see you, captain. It’s about time you started showing us some respect. I’m getting down about it. You get paid to smile. If you carry on like this, I’m going to get a ceiling fan in my spoon.

Okay. That last one didn’t work.

(Reviewer: Drew Biggin)

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