The Fratellis have been a band I’ve always admired. They seem to have released album after album and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every one of those songs. Their upbeat tempo can get you out of a rut and leave you feeling in a great mood. Whistle For The Choir was the chosen song for the first dance at my wedding. Fortunately my love for the Scottish trio lasted longer than my marriage! It was great to get the chance to catch them perform live again. I last saw them over ten years ago at the now demolished Astoria, so I was looking forward to seeing them in action after all these years.
The show had sold out well in advance and the queues were building up outside the Kentish Town Forum long before doors. As expected, Chelsea Dagger was being sung before the support act had even had the chance to get on stage. After a fantastically energetic build up set from Black Pistol Fire, Offenbach’s Can Can began to ring around the packed out venue. It seemed strange, but everyone in the stalls were jumping and singing along. That’s when the fast paced night appeared to start to slow down.
The Fratellis walked out on stage to huge cheers. A big beaming smile shone from frontman Jon Fratellis’ face as he waved back to the fans. They were clearly appreciating the love they were getting. Opening with Baby Don’t You Lie To Me! the tune felt a bit slower than the recorded version. This seemed to follow throughout the night. While it’s great to see bands change up their songs for gigs, the whole set seemed to be a bit half paced, not quite the exciting speedy tunes I’ve become used to hearing.
It was great to hear a selection picked out from their five wonderful albums, including recently released In Your Own Sweet Time. Despite only being twelve years old there’s a great feeling of nostalgia when Chelsea Dagger gets into full flow. That’s when everyone’s phones pop out ready to film a clip to look back on. It wasn’t until after the penultimate song that Jon really spoke in-between songs. Thanking the audience for their support over the past twelve years and commenting that although he says it every night, he really does mean it. Usually I’d complain that a band doesn’t have any interaction with the audience, but hammering through a huge twenty-three songs in their set was worth losing out on a bit of talk. Finishing up with their fantastic cover of Runaround Sue, the night ended with everyone joining in for a buoyant sing-a-long.
It’s a busy year for the rock band. After finishing off their UK tour, they head over to the US until returning back to European shores for festival season. With so much cracking material under their belt, they’re still worth going to see even if you’ve been out of the loop since Costello Music.
Live review and photography of The Fratellis at O2 Forum, Kentish Town by Paul Lyme on 24th March 2018.