Having barely recovered from Songs of Praise - the first album and Qobuzissime of the London band Shame - the eyes of rock’n’roll are looking further north, to Dublin. Here, an equally raucous band called Fontaines D.C. are fighting tooth and nail to show that the post-punk revival is most certainly still alive and kicking (and punching).
If Fontaines D.C.’s debut album, Dogrel, has its roots in familiar ground (The Fall, Joy Division, Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd.), the fertiliser is most certainly different. This album oozes a quintessential Irish sensibility, one that cries out for a picture-postcard Dublin that’s been wiped out by globalisation and gentrification. Dogrel ends with Dublin City Sky, an acoustic ballad that could have been taken straight out of a Pogues album - The Pogues being Fontaines D.C.’s favourite band - evoking the smell of old pubs and freshly pulled pints of Guinness.
Grian Chatten's band also has the distinction of honouring literature and poetry just as much as rock'n'roll and folk music. The result is an intelligently crafted pure post-punk record. That is the strength of Dogrel. Unapologetically literate, angry and always audible. On Big, Chatten sings “my childhood was small, but I’m gonna be big”. With Dogrel, Fontaines D.C. are quickly heading towards becoming exactly that.
While in Paris, singer Grian Chatten and guitarist Conor Curley talk about their passion for post-punk, their native Ireland and its heroes:
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