Revue Fontaines DC – Sparks leap for post-punk poets of a generation | India
The pandemic meant Fontaines DC never got a chance to shoot 2020’s grim masterpiece, A Hero’s Death, which – following the equally acclaimed Top 10 nominee Dogrel in 2019, has established the poetic post-punks of Dublin as the kind of guitar band that arrives once in a generation.
However, finally here they are, unleashing tracks from both albums in front of an audibly adoring audience to the point that the crowd hysteria transform Liberty Belle from a dark song about “constant and ready violence” to a joyful, liberated and joyful celebration.
Otherwise, the forced dismissal did not hamper the intensity of Fontaines. The songs are delivered without a scene motif. Guitarists glare at their instruments like men digging the road, electric riffs rolling around them like sparks and shrapnel.
The musicians’ conscious stillness usefully draws attention to livewire singer Grian Chatten, who – having first struggled with fame earlier in his career – stands fiercely tilted towards the microphone, pacing the stage as if was looking for an exit or turning to whip the crowd. . There is a new theatricality to the staging, including columns of flashing golden light or, bizarrely, white balloons, each carrying a black dot, like giant eyeballs, bouncing off the crowd.
They don’t need such traps because they have songs that you can listen to with your eyes closed. The heroes of the former poet Chatten include Shane MacGowan, Yeats and Joyce and it is rock music, with a literary heart, of a quality comparable to that of the Smiths or the Pogues. Lyrics such as “outdated strangers”, “bear trap loyalty” or “I was a cool, cool kid on the sidewalk scene / And the lights in my eyes were always green “ bring rich language to the themes of worker anger, austerity, gentrification, denial of authority, and the elusive prospect of escape (“Sink as far as you can be pulled, life is not always empty “).
Having had ample time to learn the words, the once-locked audience bellow with Boys in the best country, I Was Not Born and the others, for Fontaines is, in every way, a band to look forward to.