Fontaines D.C. – live at Eurosonic Festival – 2019 – January 17, 2019 – VPRO, Netherlands
Fontaines D.C. in concert tonight – live at Eurosonic 2019, recorded on January 17, 2019 by radio outlet VPRO in Holland.
Fontaines D.C. formed in Dublin in 2017. The band consists of Grian Chatten (vocals), Carlos O’Connell (guitar), Conor Curley (guitar), Conor Deegan III (bass), and Tom Coll (drums).
After meeting while attending music college, and bonding over a common love of poetry, the band began self-releasing singles and performing live regularly, signing to Partisan Records in 2018. The band’s debut album, Dogrel, was released on April 12, 2019 to widespread critical acclaim, winning ‘Album of the Year’ accolades from both Rough Trade and BBC Radio 6 Music, and was nominated for the Mercury Prize and Choice Music Prize.
Fontaines started out self-releasing singles. In 2015 they were going to release their debut with music journalist John Robb Louder Than War label . In May 2017, Fontaines released the single “Liberty Belle” followed by the split “Hurricane Laughter / Winter In the Sun”. “Liberty Belle” is in homage to the Liberties, a neighbourhood in Dublin where many band members lived.
In 2018, Fontaines released the single split “Chequeless Reckless / Boys In The Better Land” and “Too Real”. Stereogum, who premiered “Chequeless Reckless” in early 2018, described their sound “a synthesis between post-punk, garage rock, and a kind of gritty, urbane sense of rhythm and narrative” and naming them a Band To Watch.
In May 2018, Fontaines played an in-studio at KEXP in Seattle, which provided high level exposure in the United States. In November 2018, the band signed with Partisan Records.
They released music videos directed by frequent collaborator Hugh Mulhern. The video for 2018’s “Too Real” was inspired by The Pogues’s 1985 song, “A Pair of Brown Eyes” and the band Girl Band, among other concepts. The 2019 video for the song Conor Curley co-wrote called Roy’s Tune was directed by Liam Papadachi and was inspired by Curley’s late night walks home from a job at a burrito shop.
Fontaines received tour support from Irish Arts Council which allowed them to tour internationally. They also received grant funding from RTÉ 2fm.
On April 12, 2019, the band released its debut album Dogrel on Partisan Records. The title “Dogrel” is an homage to Doggerel, working class Irish poetry – ‘poetry of the people’ – that dates back to 1630. It was popularized by William McGonagall and later Ogden Nash. The record was recorded live on tape.
The NME said that “Dogrel proves that early-days pinning as punk’s next great hope was perhaps premature – there’s far more to Fontaines D.C. than your typical thrashed-out, pissed-off young rebellion.” The Guardian gave the album a five-star review, hailing it as a “perfect debut”, and commending Chatten for embracing the Dublin accent. Paul Duggan gave the album an unprecedented 10 bananas out of 10. The Times said that their “Shouty post-punk bands are making a surprise comeback in 2019, with this brutal but articulate Irish bunch emerging as one of the most captivating. Capturing the feeling of living in Dublin as it balances historical weight with financial upheaval, the singer Grian Chattan makes his statement of intent by announcing in a monotone rant on the opener, Big: “Dublin in the rain is mine, a pregnant city with a Catholic mind.”
In 2019, the band extensively toured 50 cities throughout Ireland, Europe, and North America. They have toured with Shame and Idles. They played nine sets at SXSW 2019 over the course of five days, selling out venues, and count Girl Band as a major influence.
They were the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on May 1, 2019.
They were supposed to perform at the Glastonbury Festival, this was going to be the 50th anniversary of this festival but it had to be cancelled due to the increasing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The band released their second album on 31 July 2020, titled A Hero’s Death. The band released the title track on 5 May 2020; the music video features Aidan Gillen. Chatten described the single as “a list of rules for the self”.
Crank it up and relax – or not.