Tonight sees the return of Scottish heavyweights The La Fontaine’s to Belfast following a recent support slot with Deaf Havana just at the end of last year. We’ve had the please of these company lads before, supporting Don Broco and through headlining tours of their own, but tonight see’s them in the heart of Belfast, gracing the stage of one of Belfast’s best and most loved music venues Voodoo.
Opening up tonight is none other than fellow tog, lunatic and all-round Mr nice guy Steven VX Of Steven VX & The Art Rats. Tonight flying solo minus his rats, Steven is bringing his own brand of revolt rock to voodoo with a six-string and a pocket full or lyrics. Kicking off early around 7:30 there’s a modest crowd in the room, surprising for a sold-out gig but I guess all the cool kids arrive fashionably late. Three or Four songs in Steven engages with the crowd-pulling them forward, the crowd digging what’s going on as Steven explains this is his first acoustic solo set in a few years and only got word of it a few hours ago, all good from this end as the crowd appreciate the angst-ridden lyrics and storytelling coming from one of Belfast’s gnarliest musicians. Like a flash, the set is over and Steven is off catching a plane to his next show. High flying life of a rockstar eh, who’d want it?
The room is filling up nicely as people are coming out of the woodwork ready to welcome The La Fontaine’s to the stage, dovetailing their recent release Junior which is packed as always with bangers, it will be interesting to see the songs translated live on the stage.
8:30 ish the lights dim and the trio from Glasgow hit the stage, for the next 90 minutes the room did not stop bouncing! This trio delivered a blistering performance that inspires and leaves you breathless, their musicality ebbs and flows throughout the room, reverberating off the walls and mesmerising all who attended.
Frontman Kerr is like a man possessed and he bounces his way through the set, not limiting himself to the stage but into the crowd more than a few times to get them going, the room from front to back is going crazy buying into it hook line and sinker. Rightly so, the passion which radiates from these guys is infectious radiating through each and every person in the room, the guys run through tracks of the new album and right back to their very first, educating those who are newbies as well as pleasing the long-time fans as well.
The trio are a seriously tight unit, with drummer Jamie Keenan ripping it up on drums with majestic precision and providing the backing vocals which are the backbone of the La Fontaines signature sound, bouncing off Kerr’s lead work, mesh that with Darren McCaughey’s intricate guitar work which is an unbelievable complement to the quirky, melodic and highly engaging songwriting, The La Fontaine’s are one serious proposition live. Their individual sound and take on contemporary rock, pop, rap, hip-hop and fused together is impossible to ignore.
The room soaks up every song, living it, breathing it one by one as the guys make their mark on Belfast once again. The guys get fans involved dancing for t-shirts but mainly the craic as they’re one of the most down to earth and grounded bands around. The party atmosphere goes on through the night and leaves a lasting memory for all who were here to revel in it. You’ll never feel short-changed leaving a La Fontaines show and in today’s game, that’s something to be proud of.
Onwards and upwards for these guys as the tour continues across the UK with Newcastle up next, if you get the chance, catch them while you can, you’ll not regret it.
Check out our review of Junior here: https://rocknloadmag.com/news/the-lafontaines-junior-album-review/
Review & Photography // Mark McGrogan