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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 05 November 2018

Wheatus: Brooklyn’s Original Teenage Dirtbags Return To Brighton

It's hard to believe Wheatusdebut album is eighteen years old this year.
(c) Wheatus 2018

Like so many worldwide hits before and since, Teenage Dirtbag, the band's ode-to-adolescence and breakthrough, seems timeless. 

As if it's always existed. It's certainly reached subsequent generations to the one that moshed to it first time around.

"That's probably the most astonished I've ever been on-stage, when those kids sang back to us every night," says the band"s Brendan B Brown.

He's referring to his experience on tour with Busted last year, when those old enough to remember the early Noughties sang away with much newer fans.  

Regardless of age, they all knew Teenage Dirtbag:" "I thought it would be good, but I wasn't prepared for the crazy reception we got.  It was extraordinary for a support act to get that kind of love."

As for the 18 years since the debut album's release, for Brendan, it seems longer. But simultaneously, not that long ago; 

"I keep finding things from that crazy time.  I've kept a lot of the first album paraphernalia and some of it is as it was. The reaction to that record has remained pretty fresh, which is both odd and wonderful."
 
Recently, it's taken some creative funding to get the show on the road, but it"s a reality of the modern music industry. 


No drama or panicking, just pragmatism. 

"I've only ever felt the need to plan for the worst. Fortunately, we never got used to having money. Our first album was made on a shoestring, and so it goes. 

"We entered the music industry as the money exited. Perhaps some new efficiencies will come and make things easier, but, with few exceptions, I think what happened to jazz music has happened to the rest of music – only the people who love it to death can stay in the game." 

There were a couple of mistakes made along the way, such as selling the beautiful, rare snare drum that was used during the recording of Teenage Dirtbag, but for now, it's really the only way to make Wheatus work – to liquidate and start over with each touring and recording. 

Just don't ever expect to see Brendan's beloved Martin acoustic on eBay. That, and a handful of other secret talismans, is on a special list of never-sells.
 
The biggest upside of self-funding in this way is that the days of being ripped off are over; 

"That happened to us a few times with third parties involved. And you also wind up learning how to fix your own engine, so to speak. You get to see how the sausage gets made, what's needed and what's not."

Wheatus are busier than ever. 

"We're collaborating on a project with Mike Doughty. Also, album seven is halfway recorded. 

"In addition to that, the ongoing, exhaustive archiving process for all the outtakes, demos, B-sides and rarities that lead up to our first album has yielded far more than we expected. 

"The 20th anniversary reissue of album one will be much bigger than the first version, and we'll be debuting all of it exclusively on http://www.patreon.com/wheatus "

The band will be coming to Brighton providing support to A, where they'll be playing a completely new live set featuring three songs they've never played before.  
 
Band leader Brendan B Brown, concludes: 

"We love playing shows - we'd do 900 in a row if we could."  

Wheatus play Concorde 2 Brighton (Support to 'A') on Monday 12th November 2018. CLICK HERE for tickets.

by: Mike Cobley




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credit Andy Willsher

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(c) The Unthanks 2018

The Emily Brontë Song Cycle is a new work commissioned by the Brontë Society, written and recorded using Emily Brontë’s piano in her home, by composer, pianist and producer Adrian McNally of the band The Unthanks, and performed with sisters Rachel & Becky Unthank.

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