Fratellis hit the Roundhouse

In 2006 they were named as "the best new band in Britain" by a music website, and over the last two years the Fratellis have not stopped in their tracks.

This Glaswegian alternative rock band has pushed the boundaries of sound waves with their explosive and impressive sets. They recently played the Roundhouse in London and I was shocked at not only the crowd the band were playing for but also the attentiveness of the band.

The scene was set from the start and even before the band entered the relatively small venue stage you knew you were in for something special. Pink and green lava lamps lit the corners of the stage, emitting very little light but creating a very intimate and homely atmosphere. In the background were large white column “weather balloon” type accessories. They looked a little strange, but as the gig proceeded, came in very presentable and evident in the setting for the stage. As the band entered, the “weather balloons” were engulfed in flames. Later they were highlighted in other colours, but one use that did confuse me a little, and unnerved me too was when eyes surrounded them. Not just one eye, or a pair in each column, but tens of eyes, blinking and popping in and out of view; it was a little freaky, yet rather creative and unexpected.

Fronted by lead vocalist and guitarist John Lawler, the show went underway incredibly quickly and brilliantly.
They received a huge applause for each and every song, but the crowd adored performances of ‘Whistle For The Choir’ with added mirror balls and ‘Flathead’. The bands rapid playing and fast paced vocals were energetic and full of excitement, which of course just encouraged the crowd to enjoy themselves even more. It was amazing to see the differing age range that the Fratellis are appreciated by, from young teenagers to a more matured crowd.

I felt sorry for drummer Gordon McRory on this occasion. The smoke machine may have looked impressive on an empty stage in rehearsals, but on the night McRory got smothered repeatedly by thick smoke. Is your health the price to pay for an impressive accessory on your set? A little more consideration may be required for the next time.

Their stage presence was overwhelming and I was not prepared for the wonderful night I had in store; I will be for the next time.