Live Review: Fatherson – London


fathersonThe Borderline, London, December 2nd

It’s cold, it’s wet and it’s Tuesday night so where else would be best to be than in the sweaty underground venue in Soho where Scotland’s Fatherson have travelled down to play. Nowhere, that’s where.

First up we were treated to some pretty damn fine punk vocals and stylings from three piece Bones – who managed to make The Beatles’ Helter Skelter sound like it was originally by The Sex Pistols.  Next up were A Plastic Rose (no, I’m not sure on that name either), who took more than a while for me to warm to them and their on off shouty vocals. Yet single Move Islands seemed to turn the tide and the rest of the set almost began to win me over. At one point the band actually managed to successfully encourage a notoriously difficult London crowd to move closer to the stage – now that was impressive.

The atmosphere in the venue seemed to change the closer it got to Fatherson’s 9pm set time as people jostled for a spot to watch from. As soon as Ross stepped on stage to begin his solo introduction to An Island (sans band on stage at this point) the crowd cheered and immediately began to sing along – I could see where this was going. As the band joined the stage the cheers got louder and so did the singing.

From the off it was very apparent that despite it being a cold wet Tuesday evening people were out enforce to throw everything they had at this gig. In my mind it takes a special kind of band to bring that kind of a crowd to this kind of venue at any time let lone on a school night. At one point Ross asked the audience who was in from Scotland, to which a proud roar let up, he then asked who wasn’t and an even bigger roar erupted. Ross almost decided to dedicate the next song to someone, or some group and (maybe wisely) decided not to and just said… “this one’s for… err…. you” and launched into the next song. (don’t ask me which I was just carried away with the whole thing).

I do know that Fatherson gave their everything to all of the tracks from this year’s An Island album as well as an old track First Born. A song  Ross introduced as ” This is an old one, if you don’t know it well….  that’s a shame” to which a few giggles bubbled around the room. Turns out that not that many people did know it but those who did sung louder than ever, wearing their vocal badge of Fatherson honour proudly for all to hear.

A few more songs were perfectly played out in full passionate throttle and of course those who had seen the band before also knew what was coming as the set came to a close – James. The quintessential sing along. “This one starts quietly” Ross announced to the noisy room – in other words shut up. Followed by a surprised comment of “oh I found my balls!” (a reference to an earlier quip when he couldn’t commit to a comment he’d made in case he offended anyone) to which the crowd erupted into laughter. Once the silence fell one lone voice begin to sing the first word… only it wasn’t Ross. Even he lost it at that, having a proper chuckle on stage before taking a breath and starting what was the beginning of the end of a perfect gig, for the band and the crowd alike.

The band seemed genuinely surprised and excited at the crowd’s reaction and participation throughout the set and drummer Greg told me after the show that they genuinely were not expecting such an amazing show and crowd. Crazy for a band as good as this. I’ve said all year that this band should expect exactly this kind of a crowd and only bigger and I’m in no doubt that they will get there (quicker than I’d maybe like now, seeing as I’ve become accustomed to not having to share them with too many people.) But I will still enjoy from a distance as they set sail on the good ship Fatherson to even bigger and better crowds and I want them to enjoy every moment.

Fatherson played:

An Island
Cat Stevens
Mine For Me
Half The Things
First Born
I Like Not Knowing
Foreign Waters

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