A Review of The LaFontaines and support at the Ironworks, Inverness on the 30th of May 2012. Photos by Thomas Bisset

The LaFontaines

The LaFontaines’ “Light up the Background” tour hit Inverness in the middle of a jaunt that sees them take in 9 Scottish dates. After dates in Thurso and Wick, the Fontaine bus winded itself down the road to Inverness.

TBP - Thousand Stars - 5

First support for the night were local 5 piece Thousand Stars  who described themselves as having “an all round exciting performance, complete with heart stopping drum and bass combinations and soaring harmonies and melodies.” Fronted by Lauren Black, they created a commercial sound with clear anthemic aspirations, clearly evidenced in their penultimate song the night, “Satellites”.

Be Like Pablo

Be Like Pablo took the the main support slot for the evening, bringing with them that warm feel good factor that they are renowned for. It’s hard not to like the band, Ewan Watson complimented by Jen Blackburn, leading the way with their readily acknowledged Beach Boy styled vocals complimented by, exuding sunshine all the way.

Be Like Pablo

“The Post-It Song” and “Julianne” remain the reviewers favourites. However impending single release “ Someone to Love”  complete with finger clicking chorus, leads us to believe that the future is bright for the Forres based popsters.Their debut album, “The New Adventures”, will be released exclusively on www.belikepablo.com for free on the 3rd August 2012.

The LaFontaines

So to The LaFontaines (or The Lafontaines, depending on where you look), they come with more than a bit of deserved hype with their 2011 appearance at T in the park setting attendance records for the T Break tent. Last time we saw them they tore up the stage at BFest, a feat that did not go unnoticed and resulted in them being invited back this year to headline the Friday night of the festival.

The quote that sticks in our minds when reviewing the band is one from Jim Gellatly: “After they were described to me, I was almost expecting a Rage against The Machine clone. Thankfully The LaFontaines have a hell of a lot more to offer.” Certainly, on this performance, we would agree.

The band do high octane, despite the aforementioned gig schedule having an affect on lead Kerr OKan’s voice. It’s not the only thing that is being affected by the tour, OKan explained during songs that, the “tour bus” was seeing signs of failing (“it’s shite” he explained) and encouraging the audience to buy merchandise to fund repairs. His humour and charm did not go un-noted as he made every attempt to engage with the audience and did well to enthuse a potentially challenging mid week audience.

The live performance itself, created an additional urgency to their repertoire, a raucous start that did not let up. The heavy bass accompanied by OKan’s ability to blast out the lyrics apace created a potent mix, and you cannot help but think that a bigger stage awaits the Motherwell band. Debut single “Paperchase” builds to crescendo and highlights what the band does well although floats dangerously near to cheese with lyrics “we are the masters’ of our fate, we have got it all under control”. Strong choruses with rapped verses could become formulaic but especially in the live setting it works, and works well.“Shark in The Water” finishes the set, we can’t help but think it would be a great addition to the Renny Harlin directed Deep Blue Sea.

The LaFontaines

The LaFontaines are immediate and  in your face, a consistent battery of heavy guitars with rap lyrics. Best served live and loud.

You can see further photographs of the evening here.