I don’t know if Irish post-punks Fontaines count as ‘rising’ still, but judging from their date at the Sheffield O2, this is a band who are very much right there at the front, now.
Sold out, the crowd bay for the bands appearance, and when it comes, aren’t disappointed. Time and lockdown has seen at least some of the band find the the trappings of rockstar attire – beige suits, slacks, heels and grown out mops are all on show tonight, but not from vocalist Grian Chatten, fast becoming a poet/spokesperson for his generation, like one of his heroes Shane MacGowan was before him.
Blasting into A Hero’s Death, Chatten et al set the scene for the evening. The crowd sing, jump and are on the edge of euphoria as the band chop and slash their way through their muscular agit-pop, thudding basslines and shards of guitar cascading over the audience.
It’s Chadden that is the immediate magnet. He bristles and paces around, his edgy and agitated presence mean you can’t take your eyes of him as he delivers of tracks from both A Hero’s Death and 2019’s opener Dogrel. He preens and glares in clothes of a more casual nature than some of his band mates, that have a whiff of the ‘couldn’t give a monkeys what you think, this is how it is’ attitude that exudes from him. I’d say rather Mark E Smith like, but he usually wore a suit.
There’s little space for pleasantries, Chadden says virtually nothing all night, leaving the stage to a ‘thats your lot’ at the end of final encore Liberty Belle, but the crowd don’t care, they got what they wanted – a fantastic band, seemingly at the peak of their power, delivering. There’s no ‘rising’ about it.
Click on the photos for a better view
Setlist: A Hero’s Death – A Lucid Dream – Sha – I.D.B. – The Lotts – Living In America – Hurricane Laughter – Too Real – Big – Televised Mind – Boys In The Better Land encore: Roy’s Tune – Liberty Belle