‘Money is the Sandpit of the Soul’, Fontaines DC at The Fox Cabaret, Vancouver
Fontaines DC, the Dublin based post punk rockers, brought aggression and poetic honesty to Vancouver that few bands bring to this beautiful city. Pottery, from Montreal, are first on and are as impressive a support band as I have seen for a long time. Young lads, looking pleasant and innocent, except the drummer, older and hard as nails, get the crowd excited like few support bands do nowadays.
Then come the night’s champions, Fontaines DC. Sold out weeks ago, the Fox is packed to the rafters. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of Irish accents to be heard in the crowd, out in voice to see a band made up of their countrymen and they are rightly proud. The fans lap it up from the first tune, Hurricane Laughter, to the night’s finale, Boys in the Better Land. The intensity of the band and the intensity of the audience are as one. Since the mid nineties it has been unusual to see a band speaking to so many working class people, my social class felt lost musically for a couple of decades, with James Blunt, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran dominating the radio, but unable to speak to the masses in the same way that Joy Division, Pulp, Oasis and the Stone Roses could. A few years ago Idles came out of nowhere to begin to fill that void and now we have Fontaines DC too. This is epitomised perfectly by the night’s second song, Chequeless Reckless, with the opening lyric ‘A sellout is someone who becomes a hypocrite in the name of money. An idiot is someone who lets their education do all their thinking… and money is the sandpit of the soul’. No one could say it better.
The moshpit is intense, the cheers are real and, in this small sold out venue, the sweat literally drips off the crowd. As we get close to the end of the night, ‘Too Real’ and ‘Big’ increase the intensity. Then ‘Boys in the Better Land’ has the dancefloor moving as one, crowd surfers a plenty, it is rough down the front, and the performance on stage by these young Dubliners is epic. The set is under an hour and there is no encore, but quality beats quantity tonight and everyone leaves happy.
After such a lull in exciting music, I feel blessed to be able to experience this night. Along with Bodega, Shame and Idles, Fontaines DC are helping bring music and gigs back to life at the end of this once forlorn decade.
Review and Photo by Martin Alldred