Teenage Fanclub (22:45)
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher once called Teenage Fanclub “the second-best band in the world”. You’ve only got to put on their most recent album to wonder why Norman Blake, Raymond McGinley and Gerard Love have never had regular chart success. “Shadows” from 2010 is a breezy summer folk-update, which still shows that the “Fannies” are inspired by American West Coast bands such as The Byrds and especially Big Star. The second Teenage Fanclub album “Bandwagonesque” (1991) appears in all of today’s best-ever lists and according to the NME it’s one of the 100 best British albums of all time. We’re thrilled that, despite being busy in the studio, working on a new album due out in the spring of 2015, they’ve agreed to play one of their very rare concerts at this year’s WEEK-END. Those who wish to dig deeper into the material should take a listen to current side projects such as Lightships or The New Mendicants. Or simply check out The Pastels again. Both Gerard Love and Normal Blake have previously been involved with last year’s guests. By the way, Kurt Cobain always knew much better than Liam Gallagher. He wasn’t annoyed that “Bandwagonesque” took first place in the 1991 Spin magazine poll, ahead of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and R.E.M.’s “Out of Time”. For him Teenage Fanclub were more like “the best band in the world”.
The Clientele (21:30)
The group, which sounded as if Daniel Treacy had formed another band that released even more beautiful songs with even less success than Television Personalities, was called, as we all know, Galaxie 500. In the early 1990s, Dean Wareham wrote the most genuine slow-core songs since Lou Reed locked himself in the toilet during the recording of the third VU record. Alasdair MacLean and James Hornsey were inspired by this, locked up in their garage in Hampshire, in the south of England, and thus continued in the tradition of bands such as Teenage Fanclub, Felt and The Pastels. They recorded some breathtaking singles in the late 1990s, with more than a hint of Postcard Records and 1960s-style psychedelia. Their debut “Suburban Lights” came out on Fierce Panda Records, after which they signed to the US label Merge. The Clientele have since followed up with five more albums, forming a sound that Morrissey or Donovan might even enjoy while taking tea. Their song “I Can’t Seem To Make You Mine” (arranged by Louis Philippe) is the title song of the film “The Lake House” with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Their most recent gem, “Minotaur” (2010), is full of dream-power-pop-folk, embracing your soul in winter and tickling your feet in summer.
Amen Dunes (20:30)
Those looking for a quiet little getaway in New York state are best off retreating to the Catskill Mountains. The offshoot of the Appalachians offers lots of time, space and tranquillity. Between forming Amen Dunes and a long trip to China, Damon McMahon spent some weeks here in the seclusion of nature before releasing the debut “DIA”. It’s no coincidence, considering the quality of the songs, that ambitious comparisons have been drawn. It has been said that a similar aura surrounds them as the music of the genius loner Syd Barrett. In Beijing, McMahon continued the low-fi sessions behind closed doors. But ultimately he decided against a life as an eternal sociopathedelic and formed a band in order to tour through the USA. He also turned his back on solitude for the most recent album “Love”. Friends such as “Godspeed You! Black Emperor” joined him in the studio. Introspective, strangely euphoric pieces were recorded, which even the urban wolves far beyond the campfire like.
Nicholas Krgovich (19:30)
No one in Cologne needs to be told how to pronounce Nick Krgovich’s surname. The debut album of his band No Kids, “Come Into My House”, was released in 2008 on local label Tomlab and Krgovich introduced his solo debut in 2011 with a sweet performance in the club King Georg—a given for a friend of the house. No Kids and Krgovich gifted us with synthesiser homages to love, melancholy and soul, somewhere between Sade, George Michael and Prefab Sprout. Chamber pop for people who like dancing in the clouds; beautiful neo-romantic surfaces injected with strings, brass and drumbeats. Krgovich is from Vancouver, but his new solo album, produced by John Collins (Destroyer, New Pornographers), is dedicated to Los Angeles. The title “On Sunset” can therefore be understood literally in two ways. The single “Along The PCH On Oscar Night” subtly marks out the space between sunset on the beach and the celebrity razzamatazz of Hollywood. The piano bubbles under Krgovich’s clear and milky voice, like the waves foaming under the moonlight. If new wave icon David Sylvian were a touch more extroverted and soulfully, he’d sound like this too.