Heading into this show, I’m not in the greatest of moods, it’s been a long day at work, I’m tired and I just kinda want to go home. But I arrive at the O2 Institute to see a huge queue, and for some reason, I instantly feel a bit better. I’ve forgotten how good it feels to be at a show again.
Tonight’s opener reminds me of “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked”-era Cage The Elephant. Black Pistol Fire are 2 guys, a drum kit and a guitar. Not even halfway through the first song, I’m changing my assessment. These guys are something else.
Huge riffs. Drums like thunder. The sound they produce is bigger than you’d think possible for a guitar and a drum kit. Kicks like Angus Young to match the equally huge riffs and solos that defy labels, as it encompasses most genres (blues to grunge to indie and beyond).
Go and listen to them, and get yourself a ticket for their next UK show, which I believe is at Dingwalls in Camden in July. I can only imagine what a headline set from these guys is like. They won the crowd over well before the end of their 45 minute set, and left the stage to thunderous applause and a number of new fans.
To see The Fratellis is something all music fans must experience. There’s a different dynamic to their sound live from a stage than there ever has been on a record. It’s bigger, bolder, not afraid to blow your mind. I’ve seen them at festivals, but this is totally different. It’s rowdy, friendly chaos, encapsulated in this venue.
With a set list tactically interspersed with Costello music songs, which go down incredibly, you can see where they’ve matured as they play the older songs, with little nuances showing the difference between a studio band and the live show: pauses at different stages, the voice is bolder and more grand, and they have the presence of a band that has travelled and grown as a result.
Big songs throughout a tight set. Minimal talking, it’s all about the music tonight. Songs from the new album “In Your Own Sweet Time” mesh well with the older offerings, in a packed set.
“Creeping Up The Backstairs” takes a whole different level to the already rowdy crowd interaction. Out of nowhere, it seems, there’s a Wall of Death. Yup, a WALL. OF. DEATH. At a Fratellis show. Madness.
As the set seemingly ends, chants for Chelsea (Dagger) fill the room. After what always seems like an eternity, The Fratellis return to the stage. To play a different song. The crowd are still enjoying it, singing along to every word, swaying to the gentle melody and clapping where requested. But then they get their wish. When appeased, the room explodes. The familiar chant starts, and not one person is stationary, and no one leaves the venue dry. The entire room seems to move, and I’ve somehow gone from the sound desk to the front 2 rows amidst all the chaos.
All in all, The Fratellis are a band that you must see. They know how to kick it to an entirely different level, and how to work a crowd without even speaking to them much.