JACKS are in the German capital and on Thursday night, so were Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. Supporting them were Berlin’s own, Tanning Bats.
Fontaines D.C. gave a warning that Schokoladen had no pre-sale for tickets and very limited space. It sounded like a push to sell tickets but upon entering Schokoladen, you could see they weren’t exaggerating. The bar must’ve been able to hold no more than 100 people, each of whom were eager for the sound of one of Ireland’s finest and most recent exports.
Fontaines D.C. have been travelling across Europe and joining them in Berlin were local alt-rock band, Tanning Bats. Their debut album out soon, the Berliners were bursting with energy, showcasing what to expect from their first release.
Tanning Bats wasted no time in setting the tempo, launching into their latest single ‘Glutenfrei’. Their sound was rife with a mixture of funky melodies and then changing the mood with tense and sharp riffs. One moment you’d be sucked in to the psychedelic vibes, then when they closed with ‘Sheva Leilot’ it changed to a pulsating finish. While being a combination of Berlin and Israeli natives, frontman Uzi Uziel sang in English.
It was a great curtain raiser for the night. The jointed venue was engrossed in Tanning Bats lively set. If they can grab attention like that as a supporting band, it’s exciting to think what they can do during their own headline shows.
Fontaines D.C. have been selling out shows all around Europe and will be joining Idles on tour later this year. They’re making a lot of noise and once you catch the Dublin outfit live, you’ll realise exactly why.
Berlin’s Schokoladen was tightly packed and eager for Fontaines to get going. Kicking off with ‘Chequeless Reckless’, frontman, Grian Chetten’s vocals echoed across the bar as the song begun. From there on, the gig and atmosphere’s intensity progressively rose.
Throughout, you could see Chetten’s angst-ridden persona on display as he tensely strut around the small stage in between verses, gripping his sleeve as tightly as the band were gripping the crowd. Each song saw the crowd gradually evolve from happy observers to thrashing and bouncing to every chord struck and drumbeat. By the time Chetten started singing repeatedly “and there is no connection available” during ‘Hurricane Laughter’ the crowd was surging in waves towards the stage. The energy in that small bar tucked in down a side street of the German capital was pulsating.
The band appeared to be lapping up the reactions from the crowd. Guitarist Carlos O’Connell hovered over the audience like a giant amongst men when standing on an amp. Chetten’s erratic and sudden movements around his mic added to the excitement of what to expect next.
Fan favourite ‘Too Real’, created hysteria, which in a sense is perfect, given the anxty guitar lines and rising urgency throughout the song.
Fontaines D.C. are yet another exciting band emerging from Ireland. Their debut album is expected to be released sometime later this year. They’re at the front of the charge of this Irish uprising in the music industry. Thursday night showed that, along with a lot of “sold out” banners slapped across their European shows and Brooklyn headline show for later this year.
All photos of Tanning Bats by author. All photos of Fontaines D.C. Töff Malstroem, Berlin. Check out more of his work on his Instagram page, by clicking here.
See all the pictures taken from Fontaines D.C.’s Berlin show in our gallery below.