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Fontaines D.C. review: like Shane MacGowan fronting The Strokes

PUBLISHED: 16:26 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:26 25 February 2020

Fontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve Hunt

Fontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve Hunt

Steve Hunt

New York had The Strokes, London had The Libertines, and Sheffield had Arctic Monkeys, but now it’s Dublin’s turn to be the capital of the indie world.

Toy supporting Fontaines D.C. at The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve HuntToy supporting Fontaines D.C. at The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve Hunt

A sell-out LCR buzzes in anticipation of the Irish city's finest, Fontaines D.C., who waste no time whipping the crowd into a whirlwind with opener Hurricane Laughter.

Singer Grian Chatten stalks the stage pounding his mic stand into the ground, while a wall of noise is penetrated by guitarist Conor Curley's angular guitar riff.

During the opener, Chatten barks like Mark E Smith, but later in the evening his voice will soften to tell tales of romance and ruin.

Post-punk soundscapes are mixed with meat and potatoes rock 'n' roll, as Fontaines follow-up with the bouncing Eddie Cochran on acid guitar of Checkless Reckless, with Chatten professing "money, it's the sandpit of the soul".

Fontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve HuntFontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve Hunt

You can feel hysteria in the air as the crowd surges for fan favourites Sha Sha Sha, Liberty Belle and Boys In The Better Land which sound like Shane MacGowan fronting The Strokes.

Liberty Belle stands out in particular, the track stakes a good claim as one of the best indie songs in years, with its catchy chorus underpinned by furious guitar lines.

Chatten's words of "I love that violence that you get around here" seem strangely relatable to anyone who has ever been so homesick they've begun to miss even the darker side of living there.

Most of this evening's audience probably haven't visited Dublin, however after leaving the venue tonight they will have a better idea of it's heroes and villains.

Fontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve HuntFontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve Hunt

Along with favourites from debut album Dogrel, the band tease four new songs, the first of these is the thunderous A Hero's Death, which sees Chatten offering the bleak message of hope, "life ain't always empty" over driving rockabilly guitars.

The new tracks shine among more familiar material, and look certain to lift the group on to the next level, which they look to reach.

As their set draws to a close, the band are shrouded in green as Tom Coll's marching band-esque drums punctuate Dublin City Sky, a gritty love letter to the Irish capital, which shows a vulnerable side to a band which started the evening by almost decapitating the crowd with raw power.

To close, the group take it up to 11 once more, with Dogrel opener Big, over throbbing bass Chatten tells the crowd "my childhood was small, but I'm gonna be big", and I doubt any of tonight's audience would argue that.

Fontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve HuntFontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve Hunt

- For more local music check out our dedicated page every Thursday in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, our podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all other streaming platforms and follow Enjoy Music More on Facebook and Twitter

Fontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve HuntFontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve Hunt

Fontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve HuntFontaines D.C. headlining The LCR, UEA in Norwich on 24th February 2020. Picture: Steve Hunt

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