When a band approaches their third album, live sets begin to get interesting—certain classics must be culled, and if they’ve gone about their development in the right way, a balancing act of sounds must be alchemically coaxed into sonic coherence. With their third album Skinty Fia fast approaching, Fontaines D.C. gave the world a sneak peek of what is in store for their forthcoming tour with a set that rattled the rafters for an intimate Jameson’s Connects event.
Everything about the band has always been touched with a self-proclaimed sense of Irishness and although they remain wavering on what exactly that is, they were a very fitting choice to headline Jameson’s St. Patrick’s Day gig. As Jameson’s opine themselves: “It’s high time we finally get together again. Sparking up those connections. By pulling up a chair, raising a glass, and raising the collective roof together too. All ahead of Fontaines DC’s Global Tour and new album Skinty Fia.”
The riotous performance that the group pulled off certainly didn’t let anybody down. It’s startling how the band confoundingly manage to remain muscular and ethereal with their sound when they play live. Thunderous and floating are not two words that ordinarily seem incompatible when describing a volley of sound pouring out of the same amplifier, but indeed, throughout the show, that happened to be the case.
Tracks fresh out the box already soaring is testimony to their confidence as a live act. Poetry and elements pertaining to the timeless side of things may well be in the welter of their act, but they are a band in the truest sense of the words—that fact pours off their music and the inherent vigour of the lads when they are playing together.
What’s more, that aforementioned floating yet thunderous style that they paradoxically achieve with bewildering aplomb, may well be the sound they have in store with Skinty Fia. It was highly noteworthy that the cover the lads chose to play us was one of the most upbeat shoegaze anthems ever created with The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’. Fontaines took on the classic with an air of pure conviction and offered up a heavier twist on the ethereal indie cracker, and it proved fittingly, well, heavenly.
This may well be the sound dished out on Skinty Fia. As the band told us when we caught up with them earlier this month, “I think that one influence that I can put my finger on the most clearly is Primal Scream, especially the XTRMNTR album,” guitarist Conor Curley opines. “Maybe from some of my guitar work, I was kind of trying to go down like a shoegaze-y Kevin Shields thing which kind of ties in with that because he produced that album.”
If last night’s scintillating Jameson’s live show is anything to go by then their new era should be one that sustains their current run of masterpieces. Triumphant from the get-go, it doesn’t imply arrogance to say that the band seemed to know that they would deliver something special. When they’ve got the chops and the mindset to really try and rapturously remit something that really seeks to bridge the abyss towards musical spiritualism then they genuinely can’t fail.
You can check out the Jameson’s Connect Fontaines D.C. show below.