Fatherson puts on ‘big rock show’ at Islington Assembly Hall

15:36 13 June 2022

Fatherson promised a “big fun rock show” on their tour promoting the album which the Scottish indie band consider their most thoughtful and groove-focused to date.

Anyone still guessing which direction they were going might have been even more confused when the three-piece from Kilmarnock appeared wearing matching jumpsuits – outfits reminiscent of boy bands and dance routines. But from the moment they crashed into the opening of Dive, it was obvious they had only one thing on their mind. It was going to be a great fun rock show and nothing else was on the menu.

The energy was maintained with older songs Charm School and Lost Little Boys, only giving way slightly with the introduction of Normal People – which contains the allusion to “Normal Fears” – the name of their fourth LP released in April. . Frontman Ross Leighton described the daily lockdown, breakups and frustrations as fuel for the album. But perhaps this theme was most noticeable in 2018’s track Reflection, an overall outlier. It was otherwise big hooks, hard riffs and lots of songs to sing.

Ross comes across as a softer character than his long hair and bushy beard would suggest and even a back-and-forth with a rowdy during an onstage anecdote about writing a song in the toilet is handled with sweet precision. Bassist Marc Strain and drummer Greg Walkinshaw didn’t share vocals but made their presence felt with boundless energy, with the former regularly taking center stage to encourage the crowd’s chants. Between them, they generate enough stage presence to bring their 16 tracks to life. The crowd – a well-informed quasi-sale – reached a frenzy for the older tracks. Finisher Making Waves are sung so furiously to the group that Ross and Co are able to step away from the microphones and bask in the mass adulation for the anecdotal lyrics.

Fatherson was far from blue, bringing his rock anthems to a discerning crowd
– Credit: Christopher Hogg

I’m making waves with the girl down the street
She tells me secrets I don’t think I can keep

Unlike the introspection and pop of Normal Fears, the whole thing is pure rock – hard enough even to be on par with the big-hitter Black Foxxes, the opening act. Whether it’s to heal their sadness or to celebrate their passing, Fatherson is firing on all cylinders.

Fatherson’s album Normal Fears was released. For more information and tour dates visit: www.fathersonband.com/

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