The Fratellis @ Manchester Academy


The Great Glaswegians are back on tour after releasing their fifth album In Your Own Sweet Time last week. With the album reaching the UK Number 5 spot in the Official Charts, it has become a very exciting and highly anticipated time for the band. Tonight, they have the job of getting a packed Manchester Academy to become a dancing frenzy rather than a ‘Stand up Tragedy’.

The night is kicked off by a phenomenal support act from Texas, Black Pistol Fire, who within seconds set the tone. The drummer, Eric Owen, manages to break his cymbal with his monstrous drumming style, but don’t let this distract you from Kevin McKeown’s frantic performance, flying around the stage, bouncing from side to side and crowd surfing while playing an outrageous guitar riff. If you couldn’t sense the electricity in the room before, you definitely could now.

With the venue buzzing, crowd chanting and lights flashing, Jon Fratelli and the gang walk out to a humongous roar, and before the crowd can settle, ‘Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!’ blasts out – couldn’t help but think, here we fucking go! The hard-hitting gritty guitar, body bashing bass and dangerously deafening drums are all topped off with a fast paced, jazzy piano. Not a single person fails to get on their dancing shoes, from the infectious infants, to the grey-haired gig going experts.

Despite declaring “we’re getting too old for this shit”, from one song to the next, the whole band are filled to the brim with energy: not only are they performing, they are having the times of their life. The band that released one of the biggest indie albums in the UK back in 2006 manage to get the balance of songs just right, playing classics like ‘Henrietta’, ‘Whistle For The Choir’, and ‘Chelsea Dagger’, but also showcasing their new songs like ‘Starcrossed Losers’, ‘Laughing Gas’ and ‘Sugartown’. At times, the crowd go mute due to the songs still feeling very fresh, but that doesn’t stop people from dancing along.

The Fratellis @ Manchester Academy

Looking around, every single person is having a great time, including the guy who manages to get a nose bleed from the mosh pit – a quick wipe, thumbs up and a giggle, before carrying on with his night, nothing was going to ruin the vibe of this fantastic performance.

The Fratellis finish their hour long set with ‘A Heady Tale’ before returning with a slightly bizarre encore. When they return, they start their four-song finale with ‘Told You So’ which seems to mellow out the crowd, allowing everyone to appreciate what a night it has been. Followed by classics such as ‘Country Boys & City Girls’ and the obvious ‘Chelsea Dagger’, the frenzy continues, the crowd turning into a sea of bodies being flung around the room, losing themselves in what is an incredible indie disco, leaving everyone just about drained of every bit of energy in the human body. The final song of the night is what made the encore somewhat bizarre, covering Dion’s ‘Runaround Sue’, leaving the ‘infants’ a little bewildered, but for everyone else, a joyous celebration to what has been a flawless performance from The Fratellis.

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