This night was greatly anticipated by us, being fans of The Fratellis’ original garage/alternative rock sounds. We managed to make our way through the tightly packed crowd to the second row, just in time for The Crookes to come on stage. There was optimism in the atmosphere and everyone was eager to listen to The Crookes’ set. The crowd cheered as shadows emerged from backstage and stood under the electric blue lights. With the absence of an introduction, the band soon began to play. The Sheffield band, who formed in 2008, were ‘reyt good’. Their set list was short and sweet, including hits such as Afterglow, Sofie and Backstreet Lovers. The lead singer, George Waite was friendly and presented good crowd interaction – claiming multiple times that the Liverpool crowd was the best they had ever played for. By the time their last song came around, the crowd was well and truly won over by their music. The Crookes left the stage having hyped the audience even more for the arrival of the main act.
After a short interval filled by classic tunes to maintain the crowd’s buzz, we were all squashed even closer together. Whilst scanning around the venue, it was clear there were some dedicated fans in the house – with every other person wearing new and old tour t-shirts. As the room became pitch-black, the conversations grew still and finally the crowd roared. The 3 piece Glaswegian band (consisting of Jon Fratelli, Barry Fratelli and Mince Fratelli) have been around since 2005 and released their first and arguably most popular album ‘Costello Music’ in 2006. Any fan of The Goonies will relate the name ‘Fratelli’ to the bad guys in the film and this is in fact where the band found their name. In our opinion, this portrays the guys’ animated and fun attitude to the making of music. The cool and quirky band members show a good relationship and all obviously share a passion for the music that they produce.
Without warning, The Cancan blasted through the speakers and everyone went crazy. The band showed great passion in their show, keeping it upbeat and extremely enjoyable. Sweat poured from everyone as they played hits from their early and latest albums. Highlights include; Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!, Henrietta, Whistle For The Choir and Me And The Devil. At one point, Barry had what seemed to be technical difficulties but impressively he continued to play whilst talking to the crew and manage to fix the problem within a couple of minutes.
With an array of manic lighting complimenting the diverse set list, The Fratelli’s were by no means afraid to pour their unique sound into the crammed room. The O2 felt the perfect fit to ensure the intimacy between fans and the band was ever present, whilst still having a large enough space to allow their chords to bounce through the venue. The majority of songs received a united echo, from all members present, singing back, devotedly to the talented trio. No one could disguise their exasperated and excited response to Jon Fratelli’s stage presence, pouring emotion and energy into every song. Hearing their heavy use of riffs live, confirmed their devotion to their art, with every song showcasing their creative and catchy flare.
Their performance of Baby Fratelli was a standout part of the night, as a well-established song to include within a fantastic, assorted setlist. Positioned near the end, it united the crowd, as we shared the common appreciation for one of the band’s earlier songs, which became a cornerstone on their road to success. A rather nostalgic atmosphere filled into the room, as the realisation of how far the talented musicians had come was ever present, from their roots in Glasgow, to their now deserving title as an internationally adored band.
After their concluding song, Barry nodded and mouthed ‘encore’ which caused yet more exhilaration. An impressive extra 3 songs were added, of course including Chelsea Dagger. The members showed their individual personalities. Their stage presence was admirable, as well as their interaction and involvement with each other. The Fratellis put on an amazing show, jam-packed with all of their top hits. A performance that will definitely be remembered by us.
Words: Liv Mannix and Meg Green