Teenage Fanclub finish off their world tour at the EIF with a new member, new material and some old favourites

After 30 years as one of Scotland’s most creatively consistent and cherished bands, Teenage Fanclub are appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival with a new line-up and some classic songs that haven’t been on their playlist for some time.

The impetus for the change came about when founder member and bass player Gerry Love left the band last year, leading to the introduction of Euros Childs of the band Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci on keyboards and vocals.

“Although we’ve always got on as friends, we’ve never been a band that’s been a gang. It has always been the music first, and we got together based on that,” says singer/guitarist Raymond McGinley pragmatically.

Since forming in Bellshill in the late 1980s, Teenage Fanclub had always been a group of three accomplished singer/songwriters, with the spoils divided equally across each album. For the time being at least, there will be no Gerry Love songs in the set, but the bittersweet prospect of no live versions of Fanclub favourites such as ‘Sparky’s Dream’, ‘Ain’t That Enough’ and ‘Radio’ is leavened by the resurrection of some deep cuts from the catalogue that have fallen off the edge of their set over the years.

“To me there’s songs that people really like and know, but we haven’t really played that regularly, like ‘Alcoholiday’ from Bandwagonesque. I think we’re still at the start of digging into things we should be playing,” McGinley says.

The band is also working on new material, drawing inspiration from each member of the new line-up. “Sometimes people have an idea in their head about ‘This is the kind of record I want to make’,” says McGinley, “but there can never be that singular vision with us, because the band is only worthwhile if you let people give something of themselves. Whenever there is someone different in the room it changes the dynamic within the group, and any change is stimulating.”

The first fruit of that initial recording session is a new song by McGinley, the non-prophetic ‘Everything Is Falling Apart’, which will be aired when the band play at the International Festival. Their Leith Theatre show is the final date of their current world tour – after that, the group will head back into the studio.

“As a band we’ve never really worked to any predetermined plan, we just get together and do it as we go along. That’s the way it’s always been. I don’t think that’s really going to change much.”


Teenage Fanclub, Leith Theatre,
16 August, 7pm, £30 eif.co.uk

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