Many people, including myself, didn’t know Fountains of Wayne were still going but their latest album was released as recently as last summer. They play a brand of music known as ‘power-pop’ or ‘college-rock’ in the US. But genre names don’t tell the whole story.
Dublin power-pop act Pugwash played a fine support set, overcoming mainman Thomas Walsh’s Westlife fixation (really!) to showcase strong harmonies and a Teenage Fanclub feel on tracks like Fall Down and The Move’s I Can Hear The Grass Grow. Neil Hannon joined them on keyboards for their final track The Age of Revolution, which came from both parties’ Duckworth Lewis Method collaboration.
Fountains of Wayne rocked more than I expected on tracks like I’ve Got A Flair and Someone To Love, reminding me of great lost Irish band Revelino. Despite some strong guitars, their set drifted by without really engaging, the vocals somewhat lost. Newer track The Summer Place and Valley Winter Song had a casual, carefree attitude about them, like a less-countrified Lemonheads.
The acoustic numbers were duller, and one of their best known songs Radiation Vibe was ruined by their mid-song lapses into Tears for Fears, Foreigner, Steve Miller and Foreigner, which seemed self-indulgent. The crowd loved it however, teeing up the lengthy encore nicely. They were joined by Pugwash for Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart which bounced along nicely before Stacy’s Mom and bubblegrunge classic Sink To The Bottom, sending the majority of people humming their way home happily.