Sombrely strolling onto the stage to Dean Martin’s ‘My Rifle, My Pony and Me’, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. ooze surety and control, and after a few subtle nods they burst into first track ‘Hurricane Laughter’. The grins from the crowd spread with a glint of chaos; they are well aware of what they’re going to get.
Small talk isn’t required when the poetic yet commanding demeanour of frontman Grian Chatten speaks volumes. He paces the stage, holding in a clenched jaw the gritty lyrics he then spits perfectly on beat.
The band have a restless, burning attitude that only raw punk bands possess. Track by track, their sounds are communicated directly to every set of ears, with no grey areas. A mix of ages recite their lyrics back to them verbatim, mesmerised by the joyride Chatten has dragged them on.
From the grunge and grit rises fourth tune, ‘Sha Sha Sha’. The opening percussion packs a punch, and the performance is practically dripping with The Clash–esque quality. The infectious track unites the crowd in a sing-song that even your nan would master.
Fontaines D.C. know exactly who and what they are and don’t oversell themselves. Equally they are not confined to the clichés of the genre. In an age of complexity, the band address their messages directly and in doing so can attract those not in tune with punk. This is a largely why their stellar album Dogrel was named BBC Radio 6’s #1 ‘Album of The Year’.
Fontaines D.C.arrived during a surge of popularity of raw-sounding guitar bands in the UK (with the likes of IDLES, Shame and Sports Team all attributing) riding the new wave of punk rebellion. Fontaines D.C.’s success highlights one thing key aspact about this movement. It is not about who shouts the loudest but who has the talent. And Fontaines D.C have once again proved from this night, they have it by the bucket-load.