(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #326: Fatherson

By on Friday, 16th January 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by TGTF Editor-in-Chief Mary Chang at Edinburgh Potterrow, October 2014

Fatherson are Scottish, and they’re not afraid to show it. Singer Ross Leighton has a beautiful, broad Scots twang which, along with the chunky four-piece instrumentation, immediately gives the music a personality: a windswept, weatherbeaten one, evocative of grand vistas of freshwater and granite, flavoured with the tang of freshly-trampled heather. Nowhere is this effect more apparent than on ‘Hometown’, from debut LP ‘I Am An Island’. Check out the “we have it all figured out” refrain for ample proof.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmvDWqvuBEM[/youtube]

Fatherson deliver a more straight-ahead guitar rock experience than their Celtic peers such as Admiral Fallow; while their music falls broadly into the vast folk-rock canon, there’s a great deal more rock than folk here. Which is not to say that they lack subtlety – their aforementioned ability to conjure up the musical equivalent of a burly kilted man throwing a tree trunk is testament to that, as are the vocal harmonies and the string arrangements that pop up unexpectedly from time to time – but they pack a punch when they really put their minds to it. Which is to say, most of the time. Imagine Travis with overdriven guitars, or perhaps Foo Fighters if Dave Grohl was from a Kilmarnock council estate, and you’re not far off.

2014 was the year that Fatherson moved into the big league. A UK and European tour, a spot in the King Tut’s tent at T in the Park, support from Zane Lowe: all points to a band gaining momentum. Appropriately, then, that they should be looking forward to a SXSW 2015 slot in March. Their sole celebratory homecoming show post-Austin is at the Head of Steam in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which will surely turn out to be one of those “see-them-just-before-they’re-massive” shows that the HoS is so good at. I’ll see you there.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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