The former Lemonheads frontman mixes Lemonheads classics with a clutch of new songs...
Former LEMONHEAD EVAN DANDO, who has just added a third LONDON date at ULU on February 26, marked his return to the NEW YORK music scene at the weekend with a four-show residency with BEN LEE at the intimate VILLAGE UNDERGROUND.
Dando wrapped up the stint with two sets yesterday (February 11) that were added after Friday’s (February 9) and Saturday’s (February 10) quickly sold out.
Dando performed the low-key shows solo, mixing songs from the last three Lemonheads albums with new material and covers. At Saturday’s gig he took the stage bleary-eyed and
launched into ‘It’s A Shame About Ray’ before the house music had cut off and played the first seven of the 19-song set without saying a word.
Having obvious trouble with the lights in his eyes, Dando at last joked to the audience, “I’m getting the best light show in the house, I’ll tell you. It’s so 2001.” He then introduced three new songs, including ‘The Same Thing’ and ‘Arise’ . Dando stopped the show to find some tape, posting a lyric sheet to his microphone stand after an audience member failed to hold it in a way that he could read.
From there Dando loosened up, chatting with the audience and backing off the microphone to let them sing. He covered New York Dolls’ ‘Lonely Planet Boy’
and quoted Led Zeppelin and Spinal Tap before announcing, “I can’t resist this because we’re right in front of the Waverly.” He then jumped into ‘Frank Mills’ from ‘Hair’, which references the famous Greenwich Village theatre.
The New York shows were the last of Dando’s North American mini-tour before
he begins an eight-date jaunt round the UK and Ireland at Dublin Whelans on February 14. A publicist told NME.COM that he’s still deciding between labels to release his new material on.
A scruffy Lee supported with a solo set, climbing on the monitors and playing one guitar solo from the middle of the audience. The Aussie introduced new song ‘Unsigned Letter’ as a tune he was “thrilled about until I found out Garth Brooks has a song of the same name on his Chris Gaines
concept album”. Lee wrapped up his 45-minute performance with Kermit The Frog’s ‘The Rainbow Connection’.
The UK dates for Dando and Lee are:
Dublin Whelans (Feb 14-15)
Edinburgh Wilkie House (17)
Glasgow King Tut’s (18)
Manchester University (19)
London Dingwalls (20)
London ULU (26, 28)
Nineteen-year-old Ben Kweller also supports at all shows.