Teenage Fanclub

SWG3, Glasgow
6th April, 2022

It was a fresh spring evening as I made my way to the immensely popular Glasgow’s SWG3. This relatively new venue plays host as a hub for arts, a night venue and among other things an event space. Its atmosphere was of a fresh and large appeal and there was a feeling of being underground.

The name Teenage Fanclub was in the 1990’s on many people’s lips in Glasgow as a part of the immerging grunge scene that was alive at the time. The band hailed from Bellshill, a town near Glasgow and conjoined in 1989. In their first album called “A Catholic Education” they set the pace for honest and fearless commentary on Scottish culture and about what it was like growing up there. Putting smooth sounds that were part of melting the scene.

When Frokedal Familien took to the stage, we made our way to the front to take things in. Anne Lise Frokedal began to sing with her group who backed her melodies and varying lyrical whims. Coming from Denmark her musical journey has been varied and rich, as she keeps on developing her motives and guitar music sensibilities.

Described as folk/pop her lyrics become more and more about nature itself and how to try to celebrate it. She has produced 3 albums and on her 3rd one called ‘SON’ came her song ‘Flora’, which is a dedication coming from the very heart. With her vocals and guitar at the helm, the soft music was fulfilled by, violin, keyboard along with her sultry, young and beautiful tones to accompany.

Frokedal will be supporting Fanclub for their 2022 tour (which by the way this 6th April gig at the SWG3 kicked off as a tour preview.) So for a few moments the various stage props (gig list and microphone) were positioned in exciting readiness for the pivotal band to come. Though I heard the name Teenage Fanclub everywhere during its early 90’s inception they seemed to be very underground and had what seemed like a cult following surrounding them.

Their journies, as a band and as individuals, over the years give the band an edge of personality offering a many and varied insight into why they were as they were and how things have unfolded. The changing band line ups Teenage Fanclub’s music remains a sound of indie/rock music holding its tones of familiarity for their fans. As I looked round into the crowd to take it all in I noticed many lips syncing the lyrics of both older and newer fans.

Fanclub have produced around 12 Albums in their long 34 year career, from the afore mentioned album “A Catholic Education” brought out in 1990 to the fresh “Endless Arcade” done in 2021. Their selection of songs for this concert scaled back the years of old and favoured songs to their completely new music that is inspiring their tour.

Their remarkable change of members puts great testament to their sound and music that has always been the base of their style and unique sound. Unafraid to rock anthems that bellowed loud enough to reach an arena, they mix the styles of vocals by sharing lead vocals giving their act a great sense of flexibility, as a loud and well accomplished band.

Their popularity grew fast in the early days, not least because of where they had come from. In taking their own music in almost ‘Beach Boy’ like experimentation with their broad Bellshill accent’s. Their songs do their own thing, and their sound has lasted for over 3 decades, and they were obviously still into enjoying themselves.

This was my first visit to the SWG3 scene, brought to life by a Fanclub who are still in love with the music and sound that so importantly happened in a heyday for a great many teenagers back when. I turned up curious for an evening of love of music and entertainment to enjoy.

Daniel Donnelly

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