INTERVIEW: Fatherson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It’s going to be a busy 2016 for Scottish trio Fatherson, as they approach their biggest headline tour to date and the release of their highly anticipated second album in June. More mileage and motorways are set to follow and in his own softly spoken words, frontman Ross Leighton accepts, there’s going to be “lots of van time ahead”. The mood in the Fatherson camp is high: 2015 was very kind to the boys and after making the right moves both on stage and off, it seems the title of their new single Lost Little Boys is anything but a reflection on the trio.

Speaking to the frontman it’s clear that a wave has been caught and they are in the right place to ride it. A successful UK tour supporting Enter Shikari, and for the first time shows over in the United States, has given them time to grow. Their time on the road has served them well and the opportunity to take the good thing they already had going, and make it better, has been grabbed with outstretched hands.

Album number two is on its way after what seemed a fairly short and painless writing process. The word is out and people are beginning to get excited. “I spent five weeks in my mum and dad’s house and wrote 28 tunes for the new album, before we recorded it,” Ross claims, with little fuss. “We have complete control over our music, which is amazing for any band.  We are very lucky.” Lucky perhaps, but you sometimes have to create your own luck and the follow up to their first album may have done just that. No grand attempt at doing something new, no producers pushing buttons to create a representation of themselves, just Fatherson doing what they do only on a bigger scale.

The first time I saw Fatherson was around 18 months ago. A phone call from a friend and an empty evening took me to Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough. Local promoters The Kids Are Solid Gold had picked up on the band early. “It’s my favourite venue and the guys down there are great and do good things,” Ross is quick to point out, also enthusing about Middlesbrough’s Twisterella festival that the band have played for the past two years. It’s clear that the band still keep close to their DIY roots and aren’t going to change any time soon.

Some bands write songs to move your feet, whilst others to move your mind. The promise is that album two will quite easily move both

Early on in our conversation I point to what, in my opinion, is the band’s secret weapon; Greg Walkinshaw’s drumming and the almost headlock like grip he has on the band’s sound; he serves the songs rather than playing along to them and moves them in his own direction. “He’s amazing isn’t he?” Ross grins. Opening their set with an incendiary-like attack the song I Am An Island is a special thing to see. Setting out in no uncertain terms the way the evening is going to go and hooking you in with bass, snare and cymbal. Got a kicking drummer, got a kicking band, right?

Continuing to reward them, 2015 offered them another step up in the right direction and signing with Easy Life/Sony Music came next for the band. A difficult decision? I queried. It seems it wasn’t. “We’d been talking to them for a while, and we want to work with people we want to work with, so it’s great.” The dotted lines were signed on and the band found the support both musically and contractually they were hoping for. Keen to keep their identity and aesthetic as well as control over their music, it’s a rare example nowadays that if you are good enough you can still do things your own way.

I’m sure for a band who seem very much at home and grateful for their independent upbringing it would be easy to get excited and over complicate things in the studio. However first tasters of the new album sounded promising as they were waved under the noses of eager fans. Sticking to their guns and undeniably doing what they are best at, the new album doesn’t appear to stray too far from what worked for them the first time around. Leighton’s strong vocals play alongside almost terrace-like anthems; these are songs for the people. Rhythm section power offers almost armour-like protection to fragile lyrics and modern song writing structures. Some bands write songs to move your feet, whilst others to move your mind. The promise is that album two will quite easily move both.

On Friday 26th February the band will find themselves at Newcastle’s Cluny 2, with The Kids Are Solid Gold again behind the promotions, continuing to support a band more than grateful of the help. It will be the last show of the tour; road weary, the boys will still be eager to show a sold out crowd exactly what they have to offer. More touring will follow later in the year, and plans are being made. Whatever 2016 brings it’s sure to be rewarding as Fatherson’s hard work and honest song writing seem to be paying off. In Leighton’s own words as we sign off: “It’s better to be out the house than in.”

Fatherson play The Cluny 2, Newcastle on Friday 26th February.

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