REVIEW gig Fatherson Fatherson @ The Cluny 2, Newcastle

Fatherson Live Up To The Hype On UK Headline Tour

The first time I saw Fatherson was at Think Tank in Newcastle a couple of years ago. When I remind frontman Ross Leighton about the gig, he quips “you must have been the only one who came!” It is true; at that gig I was one of a very select few, to say the least.

Fast forward to a freezing Friday night in 2016 and, as more and more people pile into the Cluny 2, it is abundantly clear that the last two years have been very kind to these lads from Kilmarnock. I can scarcely believe it. Except I can. These guys have toured relentlessly and, as they plunge straight into “Always”, it shows.

It is a perfect opener; a moody guitar riff is accompanied by rolling drum sounds and with the snap of a snare everything comes together as Leighton’s lilting vocals pierce through. The opener is a new release taken from their forthcoming second album and as such is a potentially risky first song, but it pays off.

The band waste no time and “Hometown” has the most of the crowd singing along in unison. Leighton uses this momentum and by the time the familiar opening riffs of “Mine for Me” kick in, the crowd are swaying and singing along.

A personal highlight for me was the rendition of “An Island”. The poignancy of Leighton’s vocals take center stage before the crash of guitars and drums blasts in at the crescendo, and the whole audience amalgamates together to provide the backing harmony.

It is clear that Fatherson know how to engage a crowd; as the last lines of “James” are chanted together as one entity in the underground auditorium of the Cluny 2, it feels like I am part of some sort of cathartic indoctrination.

“Lost Little Boys”, another track taken from upcoming second album, 'Open Book', was another favourite. The song has all the catchy hooks and gorgeous crescendos which encapsulate Fatherson for me. However, the added backing vocals give the track a much bigger, more anthemic sound.

When I heard the single, I was concerned that the impact of Leighton’s vocals might become lost during live performances. I needn’t have worried. The frailty of Leighton’s vocals still bleeds through beautifully. Frankly, the June release date and any subsequent tours can’t come quick enough.

With strong support from Huw Stephens and increasing plays on Radio One, these guys are about to blow up. In short: go and see Fatherson live. You won't regret it.

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