Live4ever’s Best Of 2019: Our year with Fontaines D.C.

By Live4ever - Posted on 03 Dec 2019 at 7:31am


When Fontaines D.C. first made it on to Live4ever’s Best Of… lists in 2017, something special was already brewing.

Hurricane Laughter had begun the charge for what are now known as the Darklands Sessions, the backbone of a subsequent debut album which is our number one of 2019.

Sandwiched in between, Darklands brought us our #1 track of 2018 too, the double A-side single Chequeless Reckless/Boys In The Better Land adding more hints to the brooding, effortless lyricism which was about to underpin Dogrel. When we interviewed the band almost exactly a year ago to mark the occasion, the city of Dublin, the poetry, the building blocks pointed to by so many when heaping praise upon the record, had been solidified.

“Poetry is such a revealing habit to have,” Grian Chatten told us. “You can’t be a poet and hide anything about yourself if you are truly into poetry, and we all reveal who we really are as people through it. Because poetry inspired us to live as well as write genuinely. We are basically on a mission to not do anything that is beyond our personalities.”

Fontaines D.C. with Live4ever at SXSW 2019 (Paul Bachmann)

Fontaines D.C. with Live4ever at SXSW 2019 (Paul Bachmann)

In the March of this year we were in their company again, at South By Southwest with Dogrel just a few weeks away from release. The remarkable maturity of the debut, of a band settled in their identity and with a firm grip on their own destiny, as apparent in Austin as it would prove to be on record.

“I feel like the Irishness, although it is important to us, it’s incidental as well,” Grian had said. “I wouldn’t say superficial because it’s massively important to us, but it’s almost becoming irrelevant in the sense that all we’re doing is trying to reflect our surroundings as honestly and as coherently as possible.”

“It’s just a natural reaction to surroundings, you know what I mean? We’re not necessarily trying to make a coherent statement about the way things are, we’re basically just being honest about who we are.”

And so to the album’s touring, to Brooklyn Steel and a concert for the ages with label mates Idles. ‘Dublin, its people, and the band’s formative experiences there’ dominating the evening just as they had on Dogrel.

As we noted, ‘In every sense, from the inscription on the drumkit to the size of the crowd looking on’, they were ‘not far from equals’ despite the tidal wave of their own being ridden by the headliners, it all coming back to Hurricane Laughter and its new delivery ‘with the considered menace of an old steam train lumbering into a quiet village station’.

It’s been quite a year to follow then, quite a three years to follow, and with the band back in the studio working on album two, 2020 looks like being no different.

Check out Live4ever’s Best Albums Of 2019 list in full

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