Going For Gold: Fontaines D.C. Ferocious Return to Newcastle For This Is Tomorrow Festival

These boys do not miss a beat. The synchronicity of the five poets rumbles through the earth, up through the spine, into the soul. Fontaines D.C. played Newcastle upon Tyne in January 2020 when the stoking of fires befell, and the sentiment that this is 'something else' could not be shaken off. Inklings of a strange phenomenon of an unanticipated reality were not fully certified, but present. As if a bookend to such a time of disparity, their gig at This Is Tomorrow Festival, September 19th, 2021, registered how much their lives have advanced.

Riding the turbulence of the pandemic, they received a GRAMMY nomination for the release of the second album and blue diamond, A Hero's Death, only pipped to the post, by The Stroke's New Abnormal...could be worse, and they are currently awaiting news on whether their fair hands will lift the 2021 Ivor Novella award. Not too bad, eh, but not surprising. Here on the green fields of the Toon, as the last threads of summer tied up, framed by a rainbow of luck, The Fons sat beneath sound that suits them.

Hey, I know those circusy, fairground lights - last spotted at their virtual 02 Brixton Academy jamboree - blinking in succession as if to entice the band. On they strode, flowers strewn by frontman Grian Chatten into the crowd, launching into Televised Mind and A Lucid Dream, effect and energy upholding a purely thunderous condition at all times. A teasing of raucous dynamism hit in Sha Sha Sha and Chequeless Reckless but, before exhilaration peaked, an artistic swirl of the beautiful She Said and bracing-aired I Don't Belong To Anyone appended flexibility.

The fun and frolicsome light of day turned into night without anyone realising, enthralled in all before them. Chatten removed his Adidas jacket to reveal his Warpaint merch underneath, a signal of it 'going off'; it was near-certain, and so it did. Hurricane Laughter and Too Real, the propelling, perfecto pair, followed by Big raised temperatures and now anticipating the revellers loose and ready to bounce, the youth fountain of Boys in the Better Land and Liberty Bell rang out.

Dude Carlos O Connell, with high kicks to rival those of Warren Ellis, spotted the Irish flag and a lad in the Republic's emerald strip and could not let that go unnoticed, blowing kisses and sending Irish love their way. Grian chatted more than ever with the audience, experiencing every strike and note of each song, Tom Coll's rhythm played impeccably, and the stylish Connors - Curley and Deehan II - held their talented and collected position. Philosophical and political, I Was Not Born and A Hero's Death settled matters, casting in solid gold the prediction that yeah, they're 'something else' entirely.

Article by Beverley Knight