Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake: “If we share the load, it should mean that we can come up with a stronger album”

Teenage Fanclub
(Image credit: Donald Milne)

For their cool and cruisy 11th album (12th if you count Words Of Wisdom And Hope, their ’02 team-up with Jad Fair), Teenage Fanclub honed in on the art of introspection. Endless Arcade feels distinctly human, the Scottish rockers weaving sharp and soulful tales of hope, home, love and loss around passages of airy pop and fuzzy surf-rock. As for its seemingly nonsensical title, co-frontman Raymond McGinley explains, “I think of an endless arcade as a city that you can wander through, with a sense of mystery, an imaginary one that goes on forever. When it came to choosing an album title, it seemed to have something for this collection of songs.”

Even without McGinley’s philosophical context, the title feels apt for Endless Arcade. There’s a lucid sense of serpentine mystique to the 45-minute affair, making its sentimental edge feel all the more enthralling. Authenticity and ambiguity don’t typically go hand in hand, but especially here, Teenage Fanclub deal in both with spectacular tact. Such is the result of an impenetrable chemistry between McGinley and Norman Blake, who together share lead vocal, guitar and songwriting duties. The role was split three ways until Gerard Love left in 2018, but even without their former bassist, the spirit of Teenage Fanclub has never been this stout.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…