It’s good news about Evan Dando

Evan Dando
Evan Dando
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‘YOU probably thought Evan Dando was dead. But that’s OK - so did his friends’.

The above quote comes from the singer’s official website and, while it shows he is willing to poke fun at himself, it’s not far off the mark.

In the early 90s, Dando became a posterboy for the post-grunge generation as lead singer of Boston band The Lemonheads - but very publicly threw it away to drugs.

Many will have wrongly assumed that he ended up in an early grave like his old buddy Kurt Cobain, but no, he’s alive and kicking.

Now 45 and - somehow - looking at least 15 years younger, Dando is back on tour playing The Lemonheads’ most popular album, It’s A Shame About Ray, in its entirety.

“It’s an angle to get people to come out,” admits Dando, who visits the HMV Picture House on Wednesday with a new line-up. “People know they are going to hear some of their old favourite songs. It’s just something to do until I get my new record out.”

It’s A Shame About Ray was The Lemonheads’ second release for Atlantic Records. The album featured the trio – Dando, David Ryan and Juliana Hatfield – breezing through 13 songs in under half an hour, including a stonking cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic Mrs Robinson.

The album made Dando a near-superstar, but blew it by embracing just about every rock and roll cliche - drugs, booze, women... the lot.

An older, wiser Dando says it’s all about the music now. “I’ve had a perverse streak for a long time, just willfully messing things up,” he admits. “Now I really try to respect my audiences more because there were shows I did in my early and mid-20s that weren’t very respectful. Now I try to do the best I can.”

The Lemonheads, HMV Picture House, Lothian Road, Wednesday, 7pm, £15, 0844-847 1740