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 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 little 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.
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 bringing out a deep and mellow magic feel 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