Booking the cavernous O2 Academy in Glasgow is a bold move for Fatherson. The band have long had a dedicated cult size following, packing out smaller venues all around the country, but this is a seriously big room. It’s a real statement of intent for this band, a sign they want to be on those bigger stages.
If this show is anything to go by, they’re liable to get there. Anyone in attendance would find it hard to not be convinced by the band’s energy and the borderline deafening singalongs that run from the opening song right the way through to the closing moments of the evening.
The 18 song set is massive and career spanning, and doesn’t seem to leave a single soul feeling as if they’ve been short changed because the band didn’t play their favourite song. It’s a credit to the band that they’ve created albums with such depth that their audience aren’t just there for the singles. Deep cuts are greeted as rapturously as the big hitters like I Am Island, Open Book and Making Waves.
It’s been a consistent theme with Fatherson throughout their life as a band, but live is where there music really comes to life. There’s a grit and roughness to their sound that elevates the size of the songs when they smash through these tracks on a stage. On record, the delicacy, melodies and sincerity of the songs wins out. Being joined by opener Bryde on stage is a perfect example of that kind of thing, it’s a beautiful moment that makes the huge venue feel genuinely intimate.
That being said, it would be nice to hear the band lean a little more in the massive, gritty sounds that rear their head during the likes of Charm School and Open Book. Though the essentially hometown crowd obviously lap every single track played tonight, there’s a couple of ebbs and flows in the energy, partly down to the fact the band are a trio. It’s a lot of stage to try and fill during the quieter moments.
It’s a small criticism to be honest, but when you look at the show without being a die hard fan, you can see where someone who isn’t a total convert might start to wain just a little.
If this gig proves one thing, it proves that Fatherson are totally cemented in the hearts of their fans, and they’ll probably stay there forever. It seems obvious this band have the potential to find a home in a lot of new hearts, and it also looks like they’re ready to fill the bigger rooms with all those Wondrous Hearts (get it?)
Written by: Calum McMillan
Photos by: Calum McMillan