Teenage Fanclub played the Paradise – 4/30

Scottish power-pop greats Teenage Fanclub returned to Boston for a Paradise stop late last month.


Stalwart rockers Teenage Fanclub weathered a rather seismic shift back in 2018, when founding bassist/singer Gerard Love opted to retire from the band after nearly 30 years. Alongside guitarist/singers Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley, Love rounded out a unique dynamic that saw the three songwriters co-lead their project to critical acclaim and cult favorite status. Some bands wouldn’t have survived a shift in equilibrium like that, but the iteration of Teenage Fanclub now led by Blake and McGinley has continued to thrive. Since their last trip stateside, the band’s released two strong LPs which they showcased to an appreciative audience last month at the ‘Dise.

With longtime multi-instrumentalist Dave McGowan having moved to bass to fill out Love’s spot in the rhythm section and Wales’ Euros Childs joined up on keys, the Fanclub’s current five-piece (which made its debut on their 2019 tours) has settled into a solid groove. Both the new songs and the old sounded warm and wonderful. The six-string interplay between Blake and McGinley’s playing rang particularly strong; perhaps not in the Slash/Yngwie Malmsteen mode that Blake jokingly referred to at one point, but certainly in the characteristic crunch the duo can apply to a jangly framework.

Love’s contributions to the songbook continue to be missed, but the one-two of 2021’s Endless Arcade and last year’s Nothing Lasts Forever proves that Blake and McGinley still have the knack for a wistful, catchy tune. Whereas new material from a veteran band can sometimes be a drag on a set, here it actually served as a reminder of how good both records really were. We of course got a healthy portion of Bandwagonesque and Songs from Northern Britain alongside some other staples as well, closing things out the traditional way with the Club’s beloved debut single “Everything Flows.”

Keyboardist Childs pulled double duty on the night, opening with a solo set of songs about haunted houses and some light body horror that was a little bit folksinger and a little bit Sparks. Check out photos from both sets below.