Teenage Dirtbag

Saturday night was Wheatus night through in Glasgow. I was struck afterwards that they’re a bit like going to see the Drive-By Truckers in concert. Sonically, no, nothing like it, but at both concerts you’ll see a band who are enjoying themselves and appear to be comfortable with where they are as well as being genuinely grateful to the people who have turned out to see them.

I initially found it a bit terrifying that this was a ten year anniversary tour for Wheatus’s first album. Surely it can’t be that long since I was in second year of university? Apparently so. The curse of one hit wonder groups is that people will turn up to their gigs for that one song. They have a following but only for a singalong for a top ten song from the audience’s youth. Thankfully, Wheatus seem to have avoided that to a great extent.

They’re definitely a band without pretensions. At the tail end of MC Frontalot’s opening set they came on to help him with a few songs. After that was done, they simple stayed on to do their own set. No walk-off, no being fashionably late, just get on with it. Straight into banter, straight into having the crowd on their feet and jumping. From the first verse of Hump ‘em, Dump ‘em we sang like it was our last concert ever. And by “we”, I mean just about everyone.

And that’s what I was referring to when I wrote that they’ve avoided the curse of the hit single. Their other albums after the first didn’t perform well at all, but the people who turn up to the gigs know them as well as the first. Just as the last time, it was an all request show so we shouted, chanted and cheered for our favourite songs. No-one, not a soul, shouted for Teenage Dirtbag. Fair enough, we all know it’s coming, but not even those who were blind drunk destroyed the illusion.

When it did arrive as the last song of the set we belted it out like it was a decade ago and we were at the union with cheap, watered down lager, sticky floors and pool tables that weren’t level.

While looking for this video, I came across a version done by Girls Aloud. Somehow (gee, I wonder how), hearing the song being sung by a group of not unattractive women doesn’t quite have the same meaning of the nerdy original.