Monday night at the LCR, the start of the working week, and I’m about to be hit by the raucous sound of Ireland. Everyone is packed like sardines. The breath of someone behind me running down the nape of my neck.
To say Fontaines D.C, have had a hell of a year would be incredibly understated. Tunes such as ‘Big’ and ‘Too Real’ have certified them as the new face of punk. Their debut album, ‘Dogrel’, has been the recipient of thunderous critical acclaim, with epic tales of Irish life that are embedded with brutal realism: very endearing, very Joycean. Their literary influence is there for all to see. The stream of consciousness lyrics of vocalist, Grian Chatten, flows perfectly with the gritty post-punk sound, recapturing the alternative aspect of Ireland.
First up on the bill, are neo-psychedelic mavericks, TOY. Although their lighting was providing something of a Gesamkunsterk effect, their sound was rather uninspiring, purely for being too loud. The lack of decent audio, made their so-called ‘lyrics’ unintelligible. The light show made up for the music’s lack of delivery.
Then, as the crowd pondered in anticipation, Fontaines emerged. Their set kicked off with the raw and enticing, ‘Hurricane Laughter’. The number couldn’t have been named more aptly: the mosh pit towards the centre, was the eye of the storm. The middle of the set and the band introduced some new tunes taking another direction, numbers including ‘Lucid Dream’ and ‘A Hero’s death’, accompanying nearly the whole debut album. The swooning rhythms of ‘Roy’s Tune’ and ‘Dublin City Sky’ gave a calm and reflective tone to the raw and razor-edged sound that cranks the album and performance up another notch.
The mosh pit is like a revolving door opening then spinning you out into a place you weren’t before. And then, with ‘Too Real’ and the epic, ‘Boys in the Better Land’, I was taken by its course. The set closer, ‘Big’ (surely the shortest set closer of all time), left a fiery mark that I won’t forget anytime soon.