The Fratellis

The Fratellis


It’s a typical damp and rainy evening in Manchester and Scottish rockers The Fratellis are in town. It’s my first time at the Academy 2 and it’s an incredibly weird venue. To me, it seems like an old library from the outside and then once you venture up the stairs and into the actual venue it has the feel of a primary school sports hall. I’m stood patiently waiting for the Scottish trio to appear on stage but I can’t help feeling I’m waiting for a school nativity.

The band appear on stage to the sound of the ‘Can-Can’, which is a strange, choice but lively nevertheless. I’m expecting the band to open with a number off Costello Music, The Fratellis’ best known album but instead they open with a track off their new album, ‘Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied’. It’s a pitiable choice of an opener. ‘Henrietta’ follows which seems to pick the atmosphere up a little but it still seems a little lethargic. The set list has a correlation of a song from Costello Music, which pleases the crowd but not enough to get it really going, like I’ve seen at previous Fratellis gigs.

Mince, the drummer, swigs down half a two-litre bottle of Irn-Bru which really does epitomise Scottish culture. Jon Fratelli fires up the chords for ‘Whistle For The Choir’ and forgets the words and in true rock and roll fashion asks the crowd to sing instead. How you can get yourself into such a state that you forgot the words to one of your most famous songs, I’ll never know. He stumbles around in his trilby hat whilst his curly locks flow out the sides.

The atmosphere has died of death. Progressively worse throughout the night and it doesn’t appear that the band are enjoying themselves up there. Some of the new material does seem very impressive but filling 30% of the set with tracks off a new album is suicidal, if you ask me. Costello Music still rules the band and rightly so, it’s a faultless album. A sold out venue might go home satisfied but I don’t feel like tonight has been one to tell the potential grandchildren about. I enjoyed it and as expected the band put on a musically tight performance but I find myself listening to Costello Music in full on the way home. Absolutely nothing these three Scotsman will ever produce will live up to that and that deeply saddens me. A terrific band that seems to have just lost their way over time.

The Fratellis  Official | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Matthew Cooper

University of Chester Music Journalism Student / Drummer Guitarist and Synthesist / Gig Goer