There are some occasions when huge anticipation lives up to and far exceeds expectations – this was one of them.
Dublin’s critically acclaimed punk band Fontaines D.C. and venues such as The Joiners in Southampton are a match made in heaven; and, based on this performance, the band, consisting of Grian Chatten, Conor Deegan III, Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley, and Tom Coll, are destined to be selling out much larger venues in the not too distant future.
I saw the five-piece supporting Shame at Portsmouth Pyramids last October and was blown away by their set, so I was excited to see them again so soon after in a headline slot. The crowd had been warmed up with energetic sets by local band Happy 2000 and East London punks SisterRay and there was barely any room to move by the time Fontaines took to the stage.
As in Portsmouth, I was immediately transfixed by lead singer Chatten, who prowls the stage back and forth, like a trapped tiger in a zoo, eyes staring out into the crowd – and this all before a note had even been struck. As the first chords of opener, and first single, ‘Chequeless Reckless’ were strum, the crowd immediately started to roar its approval and the moshing started – not the easiest thing to do when there was so little space available. For the next 45 minutes or so, the band didn’t let up and stormed through their ten song set, including new songs ‘TV Screens’ and ‘Roy’s Tune’, alongside older favourites. Latest single, ‘Too Real’, has one of the best intros to any song I’ve heard and it doesn’t disappoint live, the crowd got involved by circling an ever increasing pit before launching themselves into a full on moshing session as the song took off.
The set closed with the excellent ‘Boys In the Better Land’ and I don’t think anyone felt short changed. One lyric from ‘Hurricane Laughter’ sticks with me for its irony, where Chatten repeatedly sings “and there is no connection available” – on this performance that is so not the case, as Fontaines D.C. are a band that totally connect with their audience and are most definitely going places.
I, for one, am going with them.
Fontaines D.C. were performing at The Joiners in Southampton on 14th January.
Latest Release: ‘Too Real’
Listen if you like: Shame – IDLES – Viagra Boys