The Vaselines @ Lincoln Hall 10/28/10

Thursday night was my second time seeing Scotland’s grandparents of twee The Vaselines.  The founding members Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee owe much or all of their recognition to their biggest fan, the deceased Kurt Cobain.  This was just their second ever Chicago gig (last time was May ’09 at Metro).  This time The Vaselines played to a sparsely populated Lincoln Hall.  The bill originally included Dum Dum Girls (note the Vaseline-y spelling) but they had to pull out due to a family emergency.  Frances however kidded from the stage that the all girl band was scared away by the boys in The Vaselines.

The wit and trading of barbs both in song and in banter is the most endearing trait of The Vaselines.  As Frances pointed out, this time around The Vaselines had “new shit” to play as they released their second album Sex With An X in September of this year.  Their set however was culled largely from the “old shit” and of course included “Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam” and “Molly’s Lips” both of which had been covered by Nirvana.

Of the new songs, my personal fave “I Hate The ‘80s” came early in the set, on which Frances states that the reason she hated the decade is because “The eighties were shit,” amongst other historical reasons.  The old songs still have bite (“Son Of A Gun”) and sounded great as well.  Perhaps the song of 2010 vintage that fits in best with The Vaselines of yore is the stomper “Ruined” which opens Sex With An X.  Something I noticed more than ever on Thursday night is the debt that is owed stylistically (on guitars) and vocally (Eugene) to The Velvet Underground.

The previous time through Chicago the band included Stevie Jackson of Belle & Sebastian who I had the pleasure of meeting that night.  This time the band was comprised of largely unknowns, but retained the drummer from the previous tour Michael McGaughrin (who plays with 1990s) and his signature heavy wristed playing.

If this was the last time The Vaselines make it to these shores I won’t be surprised, but at the same time I hope they keep giving us new tunes.   In the coming weeks keep an eye (or ear) on the WBEZ produced radio show and podcast Sound Opinions, as The Vaselines recorded an interview and live set with Jim and Greg whilst in Chicago.


1. Oliver Twisted

2. Monsterpussy

3. I Hate The ‘80s

4. The Day I Was A Horse

5. Sex With An X

6. Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam

7. The Devil’s Inside Me

8. Molly’s Lips

9. Slushy

10. Poison Pen

11. Bitch

12. Such A Fool

13. No Hope

14. Rory Rides Me Raw

15. Ruined

16. Son Of A Gun

17. Let’s Get Ugly

18. Mouth To Mouth

19. Dying For It


20. Sex Sux (Amen)

21. You Think You’re A Man

22. Dum-Dum

Run-time: 1hr 15min


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