The Fratellis’ debut album ‘Costello Music’ was too perfect for its own good really. Everyone knew it and everyone loved it, and it is the true sound of the band. When they announced a tenth anniversary tour of the album, it felt like it was what everyone had been waiting for since its original stint of tours back in 2006. This was the chance for people to get a set that supposedly wouldn’t be a mixed bag – all killer.
Support comes from Johnny Lloyd (ex-Tribes). His atmospheric rock is on form tonight, with tracks from his debut EP (‘Dreamland’) such as ‘Hello Death’ and ‘Happy Humans’ ringing out through the academy, and surely converting anyone who isn’t already aware of him. Visually he’s a striking mix between Jeff Buckley and Keith Richards, donning the magic three: a white t-shirt, a leather jacket and a natural-finish Telecaster.
The Fratellis walk on to a sold out crowd ready to worship their songs. With all the anticipation that has been built up, it’s slightly anticlimactic when they open with a set of songs that span across later albums. It’s only after five songs that Jon Fratelli hits the opening stabs of the much-awaited ‘Henrietta’ and suddenly it feels like everything is falling into place. The crowd show their appreciation by dancing and singing every word as the band tear through ‘Flathead’ and ‘Baby Fratelli’, and sway along (still singing) to ‘Vince The Loveable Stoner’ and ‘Doginabag’. ‘Whistle For The Choir’ is a total on-yer-mates-shoulders affair and is a personal highlight.
There are times during the set where the band seem slightly lack-lustre; Jon is suffering from vocal complications and bassist Barry Fratelli is not in the greatest of spirits after spotting a flare in the crowd. However, this is a gig for the crowd to carry, and they do so in spectacular form. ‘Chelsea Dagger’ is unsurprisingly the cherry on the cake, followed by set and album closer ‘Ole Black ‘N’ Blue Eyes’ to bring the evening to a nice finish. Coming back on to play ‘A Heady Tale’ from ‘Here We Stand’ feels a bit like the band trying to prove that they do have more albums and they’ve forgotten what the name of the tour is. That being said, they’ve done their job and they can’t be criticised for that.
The Fratellis ‘Costello Music’ is out now, via Island Records.
Live photo’s provided by Tom Saunders.