LIVE: Fontaines D.C. Sell Out Brixton Academy

Written By Henry Chappell

5 piece Irish Post-Punk band, Fontaines D.C. have quickly built up a reputation as a live presence, and their performance at Brixton Academy did not disappoint, with an eclectic mix of ages, and people, crammed into the iconic Brixton venue. Performing a sold-out show at Brixton is a feat in itself, and you could tell this meant a lot to the boys from Dublin, with the occasional smile and wave from the captivating, Grian Chatten.

The support act Toy, a psychedelic punk-influenced band from Brighton, with indie-rock verses and visceral punk choruses, that went down well with the crowd, so well in fact that when the set ended, and their setlist was chucked carelessly into the crowd, there were almost tears from someone who did not get their hands on one, who then asked to pay 5 pounds to buy it off of the person who caught it, and in a wholesome moment of the night, she got it for free. Unfortunately, they were untimely pulled from the stage, by a growingly frustrated man in what looked like pyjamas, to the left of the stage. Their style was reflective of the indie music of the 2010s, complemented nicely with psychedelic punk sounds that blasted out of the Brixton sound system. The mix was unluckily poor, as is typical with many support acts, with the vocals almost entirely drowned out by overwhelming drums. Aside from this, they made for a great start to the evening.

As Brixton Academy filled to capacity, the anticipation grew amongst the fans. The lights dimmed and an Irish Folk song boomed from the speakers surrounding us. The band walked out, Grian announced “this is a new song”, and they were off. Launching into Hero’s Death, the crowd could not wait to get moving, with a relatively young audience pushing and showing all over the place. This atmosphere was hotly maintained throughout the set, with songs such as Chequeless Reckless, Too Real and Lucid Dream.

The new songs showed much promise for Fontaines D.C., with Grian utilising his rhythmic vocal ability, with carefully selected vocal lines that sensitively go hand in hand with the fundamental rhythm section, driven by Tom Coll (Drums) and Conor Deegan III (Bass). With 6 unreleased songs, one would naturally expect slight lulls within the set, but this was completely on the contrary. The crowd revelled in these new tracks, making me feel extremely excited for the sophomore album. One song stuck out from the rest, Lucid Dream, which makes strong use of Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey, who was playing bass at the back of the stage, with a variety of mixing desks and contraptions, that really make the song the piece of art it is.

The rising and falling guitar levels, full with range, create visceral energy replicated in many other Speedy Wunderground releases, and even though Fontaines D.C. did not release anything through the cult record label specifically, the traits are incredibly apparent in this song. Every song from Dogrel, a record now synonymous with the current guitar music scene, was played, to much joy from the crowd. The slower numbers, Roy’s Tune and Dublin City Sky, were sung almost in perfect unison by the masses; the Brixton audience were rejoicing in the melancholy sounds that in some way continue nostalgic. The crowd was deafening, a wall of sound competing with Brixton’s sound system.

Ending with Big, the energy levels of the crowd were still soaring, as is the growing appreciation of the band, that just keep getting better in every sense. Mark my words, the second album will solidify Fontaines D.C., as one of the frontrunners in the guitar music scene, and they will, as proven, just get better and better.

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