Wheatus love unique experience of smaller cities like Lincoln

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The lead singer of American rock band Wheatus prefers hitting the smaller venues like Lincoln ‘for a more unique experience’, he told The Lincolnite.

The band, famous for tracks including Teenage Dirtbag and A Little Respect, kicked off their UK tour with a gig in Dover on April 30 after having already performed in America, South Africa, Germany and the Netherlands.

Wheatus will head to Lincoln to perform at The Platform at The Engine Shed on Saturday, May 11. They will be supported by the Gabrielle Sterbenz Band (Gabrielle is Brendan’s girlfriend who is also in Wheatus) and Frank Hamilton.

Lead singer and guitarist Brendan B Brown told The Lincolnite he doesn’t have too many memories of his last visit to the city, which he thinks was in around 2008, but he loves the unique experiences of going to smaller places like Lincoln.

He said he would much rather play over 30 gigs in smaller venues than do a handful of performances at huge arenas.

Wheatus’ new band portrait for 2019. Photo: Rachel Murdy.

Brendan said: “We always hit the smaller out of the way places. I do not remember much from our previous visit, but for us it’s a bit of an experience being on a tour bus and going to different venues.

“We rarely get to see the actual places. As an American I wonder if there is any relation to our president Abraham Lincoln. We don’t know a lot ahead of our trip, I will be going in fresh. I might have time to walk around Lincoln in the morning on the day of the gig.

“Lincoln is going to be one of those completely unique small places. It will have its own idiosyncrasy. Every nook and cranny of these places will have its own version of English oddities and we cherish sampling each one.

“We tend to enjoy it a bit more in the smaller cities. You get a better experience of what people are like. London and Manchester have good music crowds but they tend to be students and people out of town.

“If you play smaller places more people who live there show up so there is a connection you can’t have that isn’t available in bigger places. In some of the smaller places we have made some good friends including a guy called Dave in Holyhead who runs a greasy spoon and is now one of our closest friends.”

Brendan added that there will be no set list for the Lincoln gig, which will be interactive with the crowd requesting songs.

Wheatus. Photo: Scott Cole

Wheatus were in Lincolnshire as recently as November 2018 when they played at the Lincoln Imp pub in Scunthorpe. Brendan recalls a child called William requesting an “obscure song” of theirs called From Listening To Lightning and he played it for him acoustically after the show before the youngster helped them load their stuff up.

Teenage Dirtbag and new album

Brendan said although the band still love one of their biggest hits Teenage Dirtbag “it is not an easy song to perform correctly”.

He said: “When we were making it we recorded three or four versions. We were trying hard for it to be a hip hop song from the waist down and the likes of Metallica and James Taylor from the waist up. We were trying to fit lots in one place and it took a while to come up with a recipe that works.

“We were toying with the notion of not playing Teenage Dirtbag anymore from next year as once it turns 20 next year it is not a teenager any more, but that would be hard to do due to the love for the song.”

However, it is not his favourite track. Brendan revealed his favourite song to play these days is a draw between ‘Fourteen’ from their sixth studio album and the title track from that record called ‘Valentine’.

New album

After the tour, Wheatus will head back to their studio to finish their seventh album.

Wheatus are just one year away from their 20th anniversary of their debut album. By 2020 they hope to release an new and expanded edition of that album.

Brendan added: “We went through the archives to try and find bits after the label lost the master of some tracks from our first record. We tried to piece them back together to get a starting point to remake the album.

“In the process we stumbled across a lot of songs I didn’t remember that belong on the first record so it’s going to add 10 more songs to it which we are going to do as well, so 20 songs in total.”

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