The Fratellis rattled through a fast-paced, festival-like set last night, and the surprisingly fresh-faced crowd loved it.
Even if you think you don't know The Fratellis, you will know their 2006 hit, 'Chelsea Dagger.' Despite an hour-and-a-half set, the band still left the stage to demanding chants of 'Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea.' (Of course they played it in the encore). It must be tough though, to have several albums under your belt and still be hounded for your one big, ten-year-old breakthrough hit.
That said, many also knew the words (and sang along devotedly) to the other numbers The Fratellis raced through last night, taking barely a moment to breathe between. The band don't really do 'slow numbers', with 'She's Not Gone Yet But She's Leaving' coming the closest, meaning everyone was dancing, jumping and cheering from the get-go and the energy didn't dissipate until the final lights came up.
It has to be said that musically The Fratellis don't have a huge range: they are high-energy indie pop with a hint of country twanging, especially in their latest album, but they don't veer far from the formula that first won them fans back in 2005. A loud, clean sound, a catchy chorus, an instrument-light mid section, the pause and the big guitar launch back in. But while you might not be wowed by their composition prowess, you can't deny they're a good-time band.
I was surprised how many of their songs (beyond 'Chelsea Dagger') were familiar, with tunes like 'Imposters (Little by Little)' and 'We Need Medicine' obviously having slipped further into the public consciousness than I realised. And their anthemic rock-and-roll style must still strike a chord with the young: considering I was a student when Chelsea Dagger hit the airwaves, I was surprised to feel a little old for the crowd last night.
A quick note on the support act, The Crookes, who unfortunately were a bit of a disappointment. Their live sound was muffled and while the lead singer put a lot of energy in to his performance, his vigorous shaking of his blonde curls meant he came in and out of the mic, making for very uneven vocals. There was promise in their songs, but it wasn't delivered terribly well.
The Fratellis though, swept the fuzz away with their tight, bright sound and left us hyped and laughing all the way home.