WhatsApp Image 2021-10-07 at 10.18.27
WhatsApp Image 2021-10-07 at 10.18.27

Fontaines D.C: Mountford Hall, Liverpool

Planet Slop’s Alexander Cropper finally lays eyes on the Dublin City squad as they kick off their tour in Liverpool.

By Planet Slop
Thu 07 October, 2021

Liverpool in the rain is mine.

A sodden and blustery Saturday night in Liverpool epitomised the mood of the past twelve months. A void of creativity, art, performance, liberation and just a damn good time. If ever there was band worth the wait, it’s Fontaines D.C. Coming off the back of two critically acclaimed albums the buzz around this band is inescapable.

The Irish post-punk poets took to the stage to support their blisteringly dark second album, A Hero’s Death (2020) . The 5 piece waste no time, launching into a hypnotic performance of A Televised Mind with mesmerising repetition. Followed up by an all out assault with A Lucid Dream which quickly caused Football-esq chants to break out in tandem with the music, creating such an anthemic feel and a real sense of connection. Launching into ferocious tracks such as Hurricane Laughter and Too Real bring the house down. Standing in the thick of it was overwhelming in the greatest possible sense. We’ve all waited for a real sweaty, beer soaked, packed in together gig.

Grian Chatten’s poetic observations transform into a sense of hope and freedom. Channelling the great Irish poets and telling his truths with songs such as Liberty Belle and The Boys in the Better Land. A new voice for a generation combined with an energetic stage presence and a somewhat poker face makes for a captivating and ambiguous performance, adding weight to the material.

In contrast, a few contemplative moments occur throughout the set, You Said brims with the fear of expectation as Chatten frantically paces the stage, grasping and sparring with the air, almost as if he doesn’t belong there. Grappling with new found expectations and pressure he drawls the line “Operating faster!” repeatably. A Hero’s Death is a stark contrast to Dogrel (2019) in the sense it looks inwards rather than outward. It highlights the inner struggle of a band quickly on the rise. All this conjures up the image of a frontman feeling his way through the dark. There is raw energy here and a sense of vulnerability. It’s all on show.

We’ve all missed this and from the looks of it so have the band. A sense of unity and support was felt during what can only be described as a soaring set list that features pretty much all of their critically acclaimed debut album, Dogrel. Bringing it to an end with the low key, deeply rooted version of Dublin City Sky. A lack of engagement with the crowd emphasises the reason we are all here, the music.

Fontaines D.C. have the songs to back up this approach. They’re not just a product and it’s hard no to have the upmost respect for that approach. It’s the music that matters above everything else. With such anthemic songs so early in their career, a genuinely great and popular rock band is a rarity these days.

Life ain’t always empty, thanks for the reminder.