Every so often a band will play a small, local venue with such proficiency that it’s clear they are destined for arenas in the not-so-distant future. With support from Londoners Sisteray and local band Happy 2000, Irish quintet Fontaines D.C. headline an evening of punk prowess at a sold-out Joiners.
A band still in their infancy, Happy 2000’s stage presence and performance belie their relative inexperience. Between banter with the crowd, their heavy post-punk sets the night off to a thunderous start, the bluesy ‘Telephone’ a highlight. They’re followed by Sisteray, who espouse more classic punk and mod influences – the anthemic sing-along of ‘Wannabes’ is the sort of thing we all hoped for from The Strypes back in 2013.
By the time Fontaines D.C. take to the stage the crowd are already suitably energised, but to spur them on even more the band kick off with ‘Chequeless Reckless’, one of their most popular songs. Frontman Grian Chatten’s forceful delivery sends the heaving venue into mosh-pit frenzy, despite it not being one of the heavier songs on the setlist.
It’s a resolutely lively audience, never pausing but only slowing down slightly at times through the set, as Fontaines D.C. plough through their songs with fury. The mid-way part of the set is solid, with ‘Hurricane Laughter’ a beacon of familiarity between the likes of ‘The Lotts’ and ‘TV Screens’ – the latter being one of the highlights. To finish, three of their more well-known tracks, ‘Too Real’, ‘Liberty Belle’ and ‘Boys in the Better Land’, culminate the night.
One of a host of punk and post-punk bands to have cropped up in the past couple of years, Fontaines D.C. are amongst the best of the bunch, their live shows proving as much. It would be no surprise to see them headlining the likes of Engine Rooms or even the Guildhall within the next year or two.
Words by Adam England
Photo: Deborah Sheedy