A review of The LaFontaines and support at the Ironworks on the 29th of November, 2013.
The night started off in fine style with support from local DJ Loop. Consistently exciting remixes were delivered and great quality sound really messed with my hollow organs. Loop has re-worked many songs such as The XX Islands and was extremely appealing to a primarily young crowd. He made several appearances between acts making sure the energy in the room ticked along nicely.
New band on the Inverness music scene Amity were the main support act for the evening. If I had to sum up these boys with one phrase it could only be: the guys have kahonies. Their first gig and they took to the stage like they owned it. If the boys were feeling nervous, you really couldn’t tell. Amity have some clear pop-punk influences such as Blink 182 and All Time Low, both of which featured as covers in their set. The band can be found hanging out at The Creative Skate Store, where they have managed to pick up a young, enthusiastic following.
As far as their sound is concerned, there is definite passion and talent but it seemed that at times each member of the band was playing separately rather than as a single element. This result was an at times riotous outcome – 1-2-3-4, then not really all together . . . Adrenalin clearly kicked in early doors and they finished their set too soon, I’m guessing that accounts for the blips. Amity have the image, the attitude but have a wee bit of work to do to really tie it all together into a cohesive performance. A no-show from the Disco Cats meant we skipped straight on to the main attraction.
The LaFontaines have been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years and last month, the band hit a milestone with the release of their new single ‘All She Knows’. Their gig at the Ironworks on Friday night was just another great success to add to their list of memorable outings. For those of you out there who have not yet been introduced the Font boys, they are something that can’t quite be described. Hailing from Motherwell with a sublime genre-mash the lads have created something really quite special. The LaFontaines have brought Hip Hop back to the foreground (or certainly to a whole new audience) and this mixed with their pop-rock appeal has created something truly unique.
A Little Less Conversation
The LaFontaines jumped straight in with ‘Slow Elvis’, getting the crowd suitably hyped up for all that was to come. Kerr Okan is a supreme front man, a rapper with a scintillating and charismatic stage presence and absolute control of the crowd. To add to the mix he refuses to compromise on his Lanarkshire accent.
The boys managed to get through an impressive repertoire of songs ranging from their first single ‘Paperchase’ to their next single which we can expect to be released shortly ‘Under the Storm’; a song which featured in the official T in the Park 2013 advert.
The recent release ‘All She Knows’ proved to be very popular with the crowd and has featured in the iTunes Alternative Chart, although Kerr assures us that they didn’t make a penny from it.All She Knows has a slightly more refined sound than earlier songs but still holds onto every thread of distinctive originality that The LaFontaines have brought to the scene from the off. The band have fallen into a very comfortable and very effective format: Rap verses and Pop Chorus’ sung by vocalist John Gerard ably assisted by some pitch perfect harmonies from drummer Jamie Keenan. They even squeeze in some fabby middle-eights. Tis genius I tell you.
Gerard’s voice is very powerful and never fails to deliver a chorus that the crowd can gleefully shout along with. Part way through the evening, we were introduced to possibly the coolest rendition of Wham!’s Last Christmas with an added rap verse all about ‘long johns’. How very Scottish. As Kerr said himself ‘It only gets better’, and in relation to The LaFontaines this is every inch the truth. Another fantastic performance at the Ironworks and I’ll eat my Fonts t-shirt if it’s going to be the last.
You can see more photographs of The LaFontaines, Amity and Loop.