On a cold, rainy Arbroath Friday night, there was a genuine buzz around the Viewfield Hotel about a new band tipped for success – The Fratellis. Their latest single 'Creeping Up The Backstairs' has managed to get radio airplay, and has appeared in the iTunes top forty daily downloads. Sounding like a fantastic mix of The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, T-Rex and The Clash, they are a band who should have a genuine future in the music business.
That is, of course, as long as they don’t have as much terrible luck as they did tonight.
The first band on (after an excruciating hour and a half wait in a hot crowded room) were local Arbroathians going by the name of You Suspect.
Their performance lead me to suspect that they’ve been listening to far too much Green Day and Blink 182. Throwing in as many teenage-hate-your-parents punk clichés as possible, they have nothing to offer that wasn’t popular five years ago.
However, there are positives to build upon – their two vocalists are genuinely talented, and they harmonise well. The band also have a lot of charisma, trying to get as much out of the crowd as possible with wit and humour ('Right now, you lot are at Oxo level, I want to take it up to Bisto'). This however does get in the way of the music at times, with a bit too much chat between songs.
The actual music itself has potential to be fairly good as well, they just need to learn to form their own sound and realise what is and what is not required when it comes to songwriting. Each song feels a verse too long, and they don’t even have the decency to tell us what each song title is!
To be perfectly fair to them, You Suspect did get the crowd dancing, but as they left the stage, the set was anything but memorable.
The one thing that killed the buzz of the night was the organisation – after the ninety minute wait for You Suspect, it was yet another hour before The Fratellis walked on stage. Singer/guitarist Jon looked very pale, and apologised to the crowd, they wouldn’t be able to pull off a full set as he had come down with food poisoning.
The band managed to pull off six or seven songs, which sounded fantastic, despite a poor sound system.
The highlight of the twenty minute set was new single 'Creeping Up The Backstairs', a sing-a-long Britpop anthem to rival anything written by Mr. Pete Doherty, whilst other tracks such as 'Stacy Anne' show that the band have a knack for pulling great moments of songwriting and performance out of the bag.
It’s possible to picture the band on the main stage at the summer festivals in a couple of years time, they have an anthemic quality that gets people singing along to songs they barely know, dancing like mad fools within minutes, and songs that stand up to their more experienced peers.
It’s a real shame that the set had to be cut so short – understandable as their lead singer looked ready to collapse with his illness, and the crowd was split between applauding them for the effort or booing for having to face two and a half hours wait for forty minutes of music overall.
It’s not really possible to bring a full verdict on the gig purely because of the circumstances, but taking things as they are, a big thumbs up to the Fratellis for giving it a shot and oh-so-nearly pulling it off. A hung jury for You Suspect, but the venue disappointed highly – the wait between bands was far too long, and the sound system nearly wrecked the whole night.
Good times may be ahead for the Fratellis, just as long as lady luck shines down on them in the future.
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article by: Matt Shaw
| published: 03/04/2006 09:57|