LIVE REVIEW: Fontaines D.C. @ O2 Academy, Newcastle (10.01.20) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“My childhood was small, but I’m gonna be big,” and with that one line, a true love and understanding of Fontaines D.C. begins. You can feel it your bones that this is the start of something cosmic; they are genuinely special. Under one year old, their debut album Dogrel is already claiming its rightful place as a classic. 

The band were born creating poetry in pubs in Dublin, and they have captured the spirit of the city and what it means to them: their love/hate relationship and ambition for more. Using his voice as the melody, Grian Chatten deliberately accentuates his Irish brogue, and you feel as though you are listening to stories by the fire.

This winter tour cements their growing popularity; every venue sold out, with the O2 Academy Newcastle’s tickets gone in days, and as time went by, the undeniable buzz kept growing. The understated Dogrel, labelled as post-punk, is so much more. Championed by BBC 6Music and winning their album of the year, it was always going to be intriguing to see how it transcended live.

Arriving on stage there were no introductions, just single raised arms from the band and ferocious pacing that created an intensity that lasted for the whole gig. Hurricane Laughter opened the night, with uncomplicated drums and stark bass, and was the most perfect choice showing the sheer energy of the boys. When Sha Sha Sha came along, we had the opportunity to show our solidarity; the crowd was all in it together.

The audience were never addressed as the band were infinitely in the zone, in their moment together. It made it amazingly captivating to watch. As the night went on, the atmosphere grew and flourished, leading us to Too Real’s distorted guitars and powerful sound. It was then time for Boys in the Better Band, which was pure magic and a moment that we won’t ever forget. This is surely their signature number and always will be.

The low-key, folky gorgeousness that is Dublin City Sky transported you to a traditional Irish pub, swaying and singing along. They ended with Big, a clever touch with this being the opener on the record. The energy was supersonic and everyone was going large, but then it was over; no encore was in sight. It was abrupt, but fitted the night and absolutely sealed it, leaving us amazed at what we had just witnessed.

There were points when your jaw dropped. It was raw, bizarre, veracious and exciting. Theirs is a unique sound and it was an absolute privilege to see Fontaines D.C. right here right now, just before things go cataclysmic for them.


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