FONTAINES D.C. + HOTEL LUX – PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 6.12.18
It was back on Friday 18th May and we started our report on the day from Jubilee Square, Brighton at 1pm, where we witnessed a decent half hour live set from Cosmic Strip. If only we had rolled up at the Marlborough Pub & Theatre located just five minutes away in Princes Street at 12:40pm, then we would have witnessed an Alternative Escape seven track set (‘Big’, ‘Hurricane Laughter’, ‘Too Real’, ‘Sha Sha Sha’, ‘Chequeless Reckless’, ‘Boys In The Better Land’, ‘Liberty Belle’) from the outstanding Fontaines D.C. Also to rub salt into my wound the guys had also performed in town the day before at the Prince Albert from 2pm-2:30pm.
Tonight the lads were back at the Prince Albert as headline act and I was certainly going to set the record straight. I am endeavouring to amend things further on 18th April 2019 as the guys are returning to Brighton to play a larger venue, namely The Haunt. They have also be named in the first fifty acts for next years Great Escape, so they will be coming back in May too. I would guess at an even bigger venue.
So why am I so excited about the band? Well, have a gander at their new video for their new release ‘Too Real’ which is coming out on Partisans Records on 21st December (a Double A-sided affair with ‘The Cuckoo Is A Callin’’). Watch it HERE and pre-order it HERE.
Want more? Well there’s a radio station over the pond that are very good at getting artists and bands in (long) before they make it big. I can remember first discovering Grimes over six years ago on this station and I have dipped in for a regular look ever since. The station being KEXP and Fontaines D.C. have already done a session for them that includes the awesome ‘Liberty Belle’ and so I would strongly recommend that you watch it HERE.
Fontaines D.C – who are they? Well, they are Grian Chatten (vocals), Conor Deegan III (bass), Carlos O’Connell (guitar), Conor Curley (guitar) and Tom Coll (drums) and the lads met at college in Dublin.
They are influenced and driven in equal measure by the rich history of their hometown’s counter-culture, their response has been to make concise and immediately authentic post-punk, channelling often-unassumingly poetic lyrics with a distinctive gritty Irish brogue that has done anything but fall on deaf ears.
Within the past year, Fontaines D.C. have released three hotly received double A-side singles, namely ‘Liberty Belle’/’Rocket To Russia’ – June 23, 2017, ‘Hurricane Laughter’/’Winter In The Sun’ – October 6, 2017, and ‘Boys In The Better Land’/’Chequeless Reckless’ – Feb 23, 2018. All of which were named as singles of the week by Rough Trade, and garnered early support from the likes of Steve Lamacq and others on BBC 6 Music and they have also earned plaudits from DIY, Dork, Stereogum, KEXP, Fred Perry Subculture, London in Stereo, So Young and every major Irish publication.
Fontaines D.C. have gone from strength-to-strength and in May they signed to Partisan Records and have already been in the studio to record their highly anticipated debut album with estimable producer, Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, Bloc Party, Bat For Lashes, Black Midi, TOY, Goat Girl and more).
As mentioned earlier, they have now also just unleashed a fourth double A-side single ‘Too Real’/’The Cuckoo Is A-Callin’’, which you can download HERE or wait until 11th January and pick up the actual 7” vinyl from HERE.
The band have also played a number of sold-out shows across Europe, Ireland and the UK earning a reputation for their brooding and trenchant live performances, supporting IDLES, Metz, The Horrors, Girl Band and The Lemon Twigs.
So back at the Prince Albert and Fontaines D.C. have easily sold out the venue and anticipation is high. However, this was going to be a memorable night for good and bad reasons!
The bad reason was just as the support act Hotel Lux took to the stage, I got out my phone to take a few pics of the band and a message came up from my mate, saying that Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks had died earlier from a heart-attack. This was devastating news for me – read why HERE.
I have to honestly say my attention for the south London via Portsmouth quintet Hotel Lux was relatively poor during their set and so I apologise to the band for that. However, I did grasp that frontman Lewis Duffin had a shouty style and the band as a whole featured elements of Half Man Half Biscuit, The Fall, IDLES and are arguably a quirky version of Pulp. The rest of the guys in the band are Cam Sims (bass), Jake Sewell (guitar), Sam Coburn (keyboards/guitar), and Craig Macvicar (drums).
As far as I can work out, their six song setlist reads:
‘The Last Hangman’, ‘Eddie’s’, ‘Vice’, ‘Loneliness’, ‘English D’, ‘Berlin Wall’.
The good thing about the night was that Fontaines D.C.were absolutely fabulous. They took to the stage and literally just played their eleven tunes with no messing around or idle banter with the crowd. Everyone was well up for it, even the guys from Resident Music were bopping away behind me.
Every song was bang on the money and for me personally I would rate their top three on the night as 3. ‘Too Real’, 2. ‘Boys In The Better Land’ and best of all 1. ‘Liberty Belle’.
They were captivating. I’m not sure whether it’s frontman Grian’s stage act or not, but he was continually parading left, right, left, right across the stage exactly like a caged big cat, whilst biting his fingers. It occurred to me that he reminded me in so many ways of the late great Ian Curtis. He has that look and strained stare. Drummer Tom Coll had metronomic timing as he bashed his way through the set, whilst I was a tad worried for Conor Deegan III on bass, as he was slightly late to the stage and had the look of really needing a few good night’s sleep. I pray that it’s just that he needs his kip as opposed to anything more sinister that the music industry throws at young and up-and-coming bands! I am very excited about the band and are looking forward to buying their debut long player platter in 2019, which will no doubt appear in my Top 50 albums of the year. It would be a travesty should they suddenly implode just as they are about to arrive! Keep it together lads xx
Tonight’s Fontaines D.C. setlist reads:
‘Big’, ‘Chequeless Reckless’, ‘Sha Sha Sha’, ‘Peddlars’, ‘Liberty Belle’, ‘Roy’s Tune’, ‘TV Screens’, ‘The Lotts’, ‘Hurricane Laughter’, ‘Boys In The Better Land’, ‘Too Real’.
Snap up your gig tickets for their Haunt show in Brighton on 18th April 2019 HERE.
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