Music review: The Fratellis, Barrowland, Glasgow

Six albums into their career, The Fratellis are becoming increasingly versatile entertainers, writes Fiona Shepherd
Jon Fratelli of The Fratellis PIC: Michael Gillen / JPI MediaJon Fratelli of The Fratellis PIC: Michael Gillen / JPI Media
Jon Fratelli of The Fratellis PIC: Michael Gillen / JPI Media

The Fratellis, Barrowland, Glasgow ****

For a band who made their name with a brace of knees-up indie tunes, Offenbach's Can-Can theme was an inspired and exuberant choice of intro music, heralding a rousing, celebratory set which high-kicked off with a hell-for-leather Henrietta. There was joy and energy to spare in The Fratellis’ live hometown comeback, with bonus brass section and full-of-beans backing singers adding to the flavour of an old school soul revue.

Something in the cheeky new wave character of Baby Don’t You Lie to Me! suggested a Caledonian Madness but, six albums into their career, there were numerous playful directions to head in, from the touch of country Cajun on Imposters (Little by Little) to the vaudeville vibe of Vince the Loveable Stoner, the rollicking roots soul of Too Much Wine to the hi-octane surf rock of Creepin’ Up the Back Stairs. Frontman Jon Fratelli even broke into a burst of surf classic Miserlou on the following Meatloaf-style pomp stomp, while the brass players referenced Stevie Wonder's Superstition at one point.

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Their mariachi intro announced the ripe and delicious cheese of unlikely football anthem Yes Sir I Can Boogie on the very night that the Scottish national side were in action at home against Poland. But The Fratellis have their own party anthems too. The terrace singalong to Whistle for the Choir barely required any input from the band but still they obliged with brass swagger, synthesized strings and tremolo guitar.

In the end, they took their set to Vegas with the testifying country rock'n'roll of We Need Medicine before bouncing back on stage to the riotous Chelsea Dagger. This might have been the place to leave it but, having embraced their capacity for old school entertainment, they chose to milk what they had earned with a big showbiz finish to an unfettered Runaround Sue.

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