Electric Picnic review: Fontaines DC – Brilliant and bracing

The band deploy a potent Dublin state of mind that few of their contemporaries have

Fontaines DC: there is more here than the ghosts of Joy Division and The Fall. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Fontaines DC: there is more here than the ghosts of Joy Division and The Fall. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

FONTAINES DC

Body & Soul stage
“The revolution will not be televised, baby. It will be live.” Gil Scott-Heron’s words intuitively prefaced the appearance of Fontaines DC, but we reckon it was the song that played directly before they smashed into their set that really determined the tone. Van Morrison’s TB Sheets is one of those angular, screeching tunes that burn off energy via surly anxiety and rational displeasure. One could argue that the Dublin band are founded on similar principles. The past year has been good for them in terms of recognition, not via radio play (perish the thought) but through live performances. Post-punk would be a handy enough reference point for the music, but there is more here than the ghosts of Joy Division, The Fall and other UK groups of similar stripes. One of the main things that set them apart is their innate identity, a potent Dublin state of mind that very few contemporary Irish bands have, or indeed care to deploy. Songs as forceful as Chequeless Reckless, Boys in the Better Land, Liberty Belle, Winter in the Sun, and Hurricane Laughter shoulder their inner dynamic lightly. The overall results are brilliant, bracing and a perfect ending of sorts for a weekend of Picnicking.

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