Lincs: Wheatus celebrating 15 years at the Engine Shed

Wheatus are live at the Engine Shed this weekend
Wheatus are live at the Engine Shed this weekend
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Wheatus come to the Engine Room in Lincoln this week for the 15th anniversary tour of their debut album.

It was 2000 when Wheatus shot to fame with their debut single Teenage Dirtbag, which struck a chord among love-struck teenagers across the nation and reached number two in the charts.

Their debut album, Wheatus, shot to number seven a month later, while the second single, a cover of Erasure’s A Little Respect, reached number three.

But, just as quickly, the band disappeared from public conciousness – until three years ago.

“It was in November 2012. I was at an event when my phone started going crazy with Twitter alerts, saying Teenage Dirtbag was trending massively,” recalled Brendan B Brown, Wheatus’ frontman, producer and songwriter and sole surviving founder member of the group.

“I thought ‘what the hell is going on’, I thought I was being punked.

The reason behind the sudden interest was thanks to One Direction, who covered Teenage Dirtbag during a gig at Madison Square Garden.

“One thing is people at our gigs have got a lot younger now, ” said Brendan.

Fast forward two-and-half years, and with interest in the band remaining and Teenage Dirtbag still a radio favourite, Wheatus are about to surf a wave of nostalgia.

“Our UK booking agent was like are you going to do a 15th anniversary tour’, ” continued Brendan.

“I was like it’s 15 years since our first album, no one cares about that’ I was wrong.

“We started selling out dates really fast, so we added more and everyone who wants the seventh album will now have to wait.”

And unlike some bands who turn their back on their early material, Brendan embraces it.

“I realise a lot is just nostalgia, ” he said.

“People want to hear Teenage Dirtbag.

“It’s really cherished by me, I am not precious about it.

“When I was a kid, music was like a mythical land for me.

“I had no idea how, but I wanted to be a person who did it and I am and that’s so fulfilling.

“We really don’t run into people who don’t like Dirtbag, including us.

“I grew up idolising Rush and AC/DC, bands that last forever.

“One of the fears I had when Dirtbag kicked off was that it would get old quick or be received as a fad. I was wrong to worry about that.

“It feels new every night. I think that’s because it’s hard to play correctly, but what the hell do I know?”

Wheatus are at the Engine Shed on Friday, October 23 and will play their eponymously-titled debut album in full, plus favourites from their other albums and EPs.

Support comes from Mike Doughty and Gabrielle Sterbenz.

Tickets are £15 on 0844 888 8766 or www.engineshed.co.uk