Evan Dando At NME Radio

So, ahead of his appearances at The Great Escape and Stag & Dagger festivals, legendarily louche lead Lemonhead Evan Dando popped into the NME Radio studios for a chat and an exclusive session.

Evan Dando at NME Radio

Despite the fact he’d only just got off a plane, he was bright and chatty, animated and friendly, and wildly enthusiastic about his new album ‘Varshons‘, which sees The Lemonheads frontman get to grips with songs originally performed by artists ranging from alt-country hero Gram Parsons (the new single ‘I Just Can’t Take It Anymore’) to warbling pop minx Christina Aguilera (an awesome version of ‘Beautiful’).

All the way through the interview (and even after he was assured that the interview wasn’t actually the session) Evan clung onto his battered acoustic guitar, absent-mindedly strumming it from time to time, using it to punctuate the interview, or underline what he was saying. After we’d finished the interview, he carried on strumming, and the two of us fell into a nostalgic haze, attempting to out-nerd each other reminiscing about old punk singles.

Evan told me the reason The Lemonheads got together was they were “just a bunch of Users fans”. He then played an impromptu version of their 1977 debut single ‘Sick Of You’ and tried to get me to join in for the chorus. We should have left the tape running! Well, actually, thinking back to my shocking backing vocals, maybe not. Here’s what the original sounds like.