Entering the stage distributing flowers is not your typical music venue encounter, but this is exactly how Fontaines D.C. announced themselves to the eagerly awaiting crowd at Cardiff University, and what a highly anticipated arrival it was. Support act, fellow Irish rockers The Altered Hours, had provided the perfect starter, bringing their romantic lyricism to the stage and an exciting prospect for a future headline act.
The postpunk Dublin five-piece have been waiting a while to begin this stage of an extensive tour, promoting their second album A Hero’s Death. Having had to reschedule for obvious reasons, both the crowd and the band seemed to revel in each other’s company during this sold-out gig. An energised set included a mix of tracks from A Hero’s Death and debut Dogrel – Mercury Prize-nominated, and 6 Music album of the year for 2019.
As Grian Chatten’s Irish lilt breaks through for firm favourite Boys In The Better Land, perhaps the most surreal element of the show featured during Too Real when a number of large eyeball balloons were released into the crowd. This display yet again affirmed the connection between band and crowd – and possibly an undercurrent theme of being watched. But that’s the joy of Fontaines D.C’s songs: it really feels as though there’s so much meaning and additional messages being conveyed beyond the surface.
Where every track seems to convey a story, the lyrics would not seem out of place in a book of poetry, highlighted by the influences from their homeland which are apparent within their songs. Equally immense and intense, it’s not difficult to appreciate live music once again with such an exhilarating set, and an absolute joy to be in their presence. I only wish I could follow this band for the remainder of their tour.
Great Hall, Cardiff University Students Union, Thurs 14 Oct
words RHIANON HOLLEY
Looking for something to do?
The Ultimate Guide to What’s on in Wales!