Wheatus bring dirtbag music to London
Who doesn’t remember the summer 2000 hit Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus? It was the year of the pop/punkish American teen music scene and cinema culture: American Pie, Blink-182, Offspring.
Brendan B Brown, frontman, songwriter and only remaining member of the original line-up, clearly carries the marks of the passing of time – but not in his voice. He is still reaching those sweet and funny high notes that helped his band reach the UK top five, two times in a row.
In a slightly too hot and sweaty setting (yes, the Garage of Islington was not ready for this heat wave!), Wheatus played a set of songs completely on demand. It was the crowd who called the shots and the band was ready to take the orders.
Amidst a pleasant mix of new and old songs – including fan favourites Hey, Mr Brown and Lemonade – the first major highlight (and my personal number one) of the evening was the brilliant cover of A Little Respect.
It does not happen often that a cover exceeds the original: Wheatus did it by bringing out a deep and mellow magic that original performers Erasure did not convey.
By the end of the set the audience was ready for the long-awaited hit – introduced as the song that did not reach number one in the UK charts because of Atomic Kitten. Teenage Dirtbag, dedicated to the band’s crew, saw a stage invasion of the whole crew itself and the rap intervention of opening act MC Lars during the middle-eight: a perfect conclusion to an enjoyable evening.
Filippo L’Astorina, The Editor