Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Ones to Watch 2019 #1 - Fontaines D.C.
If the Breaking More Waves Ones to Watch list for 2019 was purely about picking artists that were going to be commercially successful, then choosing bands for the list would seem like a bad decision. A quick scroll down the Top 40 biggest selling albums of 2018 in the UK so far will show you just how badly bands are doing in terms of being sales big hitters, and more to the point, how out of fashion new bands are: Arctic Monkeys, Abba, Little Mix, Fleetwood Mac, Oasis and Snow Patrol are the only acts listed.
But this list isn’t just about commercial success. It’s just about music that excites me. It’s why I’m starting my Ones to Watch 2019 posts with two new acts that are both bands. Both of them even use that most unfashionable of instruments; the guitar. One has already featured on the blog a number of times and the second, the first on this list of ten, I’ve featured just once, a few days ago.
Fontaines DC are from Dublin City, Ireland and are one of the most electrifying new bands I’ve come across over 2018. They’ve got it. I would have called it the X-Factor, but that word has been so polluted now due to Mr Simon Cowell and company I can’t use that description without squirming.
Fontaines DC are raw, slightly ramshackle and have an undeniable energy to their sound that is, to put it simply, bloody brilliant. Onstage they have a lead singer who possesses the characteristics of a caged pent-up animal unsure what to do with itself. They also have bags full of lyrics that are just ready to be shouted out by excited moshing fans at their gigs: “If you’re a rock star, porn star, it doesn’t matter what you are, get yourself a good car and get out of here,” from Boys In The Better Land is one of my favourites. It has a sense of escape that people can relate to whatever their position in life.
Here’s some of the reference points that have already been thrown at them: The Fall, post-punk, Joy Division, The Vaccines, The Pogues, vintage rock ‘n’roll, Shame, The Blue Aeroplanes. You probably get an idea where they’re coming from with that. Apparently they're big Beach Boys fans as well, which probably isn't immediately obvious, but they do have that surf-rock sound to their songs.
They’ve got a small handful of tunes on line so far, and every single one of them is a riot. They’ve been out on the road with Shame, and are also playing their own sold out shows in the UK this winter and some bigger gigs in April. Next year they’ll be playing SXSW in Austin Texas and touring with Idles in the US in May. Hopefully there will be an album as well.
I expect them to create a storm wherever they go. The best band out of Ireland for some time.
Fontaines D.C - Hurricane Laughter
Fontaines D.C - Chequeless Reckless (Video)