Review: Lemonheads, Plug, Sheffield

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There’s always a degree of uncertainty about quality control at Evan Dando shows, but apprehension levels were higher than normal before this Sheffield appearance.

Reports had filtered back from last week’s Nottingham gig - and they were not encouraging.

Irked at the cosy size of the venue, Dando had sulked, moaned and sloped off stage after less than an hour of half-hearted effort.

There was nothing to complain about here though. On a foul night, in the main Plug hall a more than healthy turn out packed in to hear this year’s version of the Lemonheads play their most loved album.

Opening with acoustic versions of Being Around and The Outdoor Type, it was clear there’s still plenty of affection for the one-time indie pin-up.

A full rendition of the It’s A Shame About Ray long-player followed, and versions of favourites like Rudderless, My Drug Buddy and Alison’s Starting To Happen were more than well received. But as the album clocks in at only just over half an hour, there was still plenty of time to fill in the 70 minute set.

And that was where proceedings flagged. It isn’t that there aren’t other gems in the rest of the Dando catalogue - All My Life and Great Big No were fine - but the set failed to deliver enough of the real fan favourites.

There was still enough here to please the faithful and those nostalgic for those halcyon days of the 1990s.

But deep down we all know it can never be quite the same again.

Mike Russell