Live Review: The Fratellis


Glasgow’s very own Fratellis are most certainly a live band, there’s no doubt about that.  This, paired with their always-special hometown shows and this year’s premature Bonfire Night, makes the O2 ABC the place to be tonight.

Jon, Barry and Mince Fratelli kick off their show with ’Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!’, the first single released from new record Eyes Wide Tongue Tied, to get the party started and to show the crowd what can be expected for the rest of the night, followed by the indie disco classic “Henrietta”.

The trio are not the kind of band that puts on a hell of a show onstage, even though frontman Jon Fratelli shows off proper rock star attitude, all in black except his beige Panama hat covering most of his face, delivering one perfect guitar solo after another.  It’s the songs that create the almost festival-like atmosphere, especially the old favourites from Costello Music such as ‘Flathead’ and ‘Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night’.

On their last two albums there has been a notable influence of Americana, so it’s not really surprising when they start playing a slower, almost countryesque version of ‘Whiste For The Choire’.  Even though it takes a few seconds for the audience to recognise the song, they embrace the different version and sing along heartily.

Halfway through their 23-song set singer Jon Fratelli, usually a man of little words on stage, takes the time during a quiet moment in between songs to tell the 2,000- strong audience the story of how they met many years ago.

Towards the end of the show mosh pits start forming in the middle of the crowd but it’s not the aggressive pushing and slamming into each other you see at festivals.  This time, as soon as the first chord of the chorus strikes, everyone is storming into the pit but instead of jostling each other, they just dance.

After almost two hours the famous riff of sports arena staple “Chelsea Dagger” is blasting through the venue and everyone is losing their mind once again, singing so loud that Jon Fratelli’s voice can hardly be heard.  The three Fratellis end their fulminant show with a cover of Dion’s 1960s classic ‘Runaround Sue’, proving once again that hometown shows are always better than an ordinary concert.

[Sarah Stockinger]


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