To celebrate the release of their second album “Common Problem”, The LaFontaines played to a sold-out King Tuts Wah-Wah Hut for “An Evening with The LaFontaines"
I arrived for an interview with the band around an hour before doors an already the bar was packed. People were already queuing to get into the venue and the atmosphere was electric. The LaFontaines manage to draw the most incredible crowds, and tonight was no exception.
Opening with the first track off their debut album, “Slow Elvis” instantly set the tone of the evening as the crowd erupted, rapturously screaming “I’m a rascal, I AM GLASGOW”. The energy in the room was unbelievable, it seemed everyone here knew every word and they were living in the moment. The band were clearly taken aback by overwhelming response. However, front man Kerr Okan seems to take this response in his stride. Anyone who has ever been to a LaFontaines show will tell you that Okan is one of the best front man this country has to offer. No sooner had the show started and he was on top of the barrier, working the crowd.
The crowd were most definitely involved as they were treated to the live debut of a few songs from the new album. As mentioned, the crowd had only had a couple of hours with the album at this point, however they were all very well received, people singing along to choruses and lines they had picked up. The band sounded better than ever, even whilst missing bassist and vocalist John Gerard, who decided the Harry Potter Studios was the best place to be on his album launch. The new songs showcase a different sound and side to the LaFontaines song writing.
It was once they played title track “Common Problem” that the true reaction to the album was shown. Having had a few weeks with the song, it was like it had been a set staple for years, and ended up being one of my highlights of the night.
Having got a glimpse of the set list before the show started, I was surprised to see a few ‘fonts’ classics missing. So, it was to my great surprise when they burst into golden oldie “Pon De Fonts”. It’s become an essential part of every ‘fonts’ show. Kerr takes this moment to be a cheesy frontman and asks the crowd to get low. You know it’s coming but nothing beats that euphoric moment as the whole crowd erupts into a frenzy as the beat drops.
The set drew to a close with now fonts classic “Under the Storm”. The chorus really leans itself to the live environment and the whole crowd were screaming every word back.
The set was something special, the band thrive live, to truly understand The LaFontaines you must see them live.
Along with the new album, they released an accompanying book, Okan joking that “nobody buys albums anymore” and they needed something to “trick people into buying the album, by making the book only available with the album”. Written by drummer Jamie Keenan, titled “The LaFontaines Solve Twelve of Life’s Most Common Problems”, we were treated to a live reading of one of the stories by Keenan himself. The story was about Jamie being robbed by a group of “Junkies” for not singing The Sash. Like all good story tellers, there were voices and everything. It was one of the funniest things I’ve heard in years, I had real tears rolling down my face.
The evening was a celebration of the success of the local boys. I can’t wait to see what they bring to the big stage at the Barrowlands in a few weeks.
The band are set to tour UK next month as well playing another intimate show in Edinburgh at Sneaky Pete's on Halloween as well doing a in-store singing and acoustic set with fan's at one of Edinburgh's greatest independent record stores 'Assai Records'.
STREAM THE BRAND NEW ALBUM 'COMMON PEOPLE' BELOW:
PURCHASE THE BRAND NEW ALBUM 'COMMON PEOPLE' INCLUDING THE BOOK 'SOLVE TWELFTH OF LIFE'S MOST COMMON PROBLEMS', AS WELL AS REMAINING TICKETS FOR UK TOUR DATES here:
CHECK OUT THE INTERVIEW WITH THE LAFONTAINES FRONT MAN 'KERR OKAN' AND DRUMMER 'JAMIE KEENAN' here:
THE LAFONTAINES - 'COMMON PROBLEMS' UK TOUR DATES:
Tues October 31st 2017 : EDINBURGH Sneaky Pete's
Mon November 13th 2017 : LEEDS The Lending Room
Tues November 14th 2017 : CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Wed November 15th 2017 : MANCHESTER Sound Control
Thurs November 16th 2017 : MILTON KEYNES MK11 at The Kiln Farm
Sat November 18th 2017 : GLASGOW Barrowlands
Sun November 19th 2017 : NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Northumbria Institute
Mon November 20th 2017 : BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy 3
Tues November 21st 2017 : LONDON Boston Music Room
Wed November 22nd 2017 : SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Thurs November 23rd 2017 : NOTTINGHAM Rock City