The Fratellis are catchy. They’re unique. And they’re coming to Minneapolis on May 10th for a stop at First Avenue. Eleven years on from the release of debut album Costello Music… ten years on from winning the Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act… Seven years on from Costello Music finally exiting the Top 100 after 83 weeks in the charts… Nine years on from recording second album Here We Stand in their own freshly-purchased Glasgow studio… Five years on from returning after a break, and then releasing their third album We Need Medicine… two years since their latest album Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied and Zero years on from the last time ‘Chelsea Dagger’ was lustily sung by the crowd at a sports event somewhere in the world (as global event-sized anthems go, only The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ rivals the ongoing ubiquity of the The Fratellis’ deathless 2006 Top Ten single)… after all that, the trio spent the majority of the past few years gigging internationally. The momentum, again, still, was with Jon (vocals/guitar/piano), Barry (bass) and Mince Fratelli (drums).
Reflecting on one of their most recent world tours. “In a way it was that same merry-go-round we’d done before,” adds this laidback man who, for all his songwriting and frontman skills, cheerfully admits that his self-promoting skills are so lacking he “couldn’t sell a black cat to a witch”. Luckily the infectious magic of the songs on a four-album-deep back catalogue do the PR heavy lifting for him.
Still, even Jon’s default self-effacement allows that, “it was nicely surprising and kinda fortunate that we were able to go and play – and play for so long. Which is pretty good going.” That’s some understatement. There aren’t many bands who, over a decade into their recording career, can sustain a self-made profile that manages to be both “cult” and “commercially vibrant”. And Jon admits that, in recent years, he learnt to value that fact anew. “It was probably the first time that I really appreciated being able to tour like that.”
Such was the speed of the band’s breakthrough, “we were able to do that really quickly when we first started. We thought it was normal that you’d instantly have an audience – I guess because we had nothing else to compare it to. We assumed you could play constantly; so much that you actually wanted a break from it,” admits the leader of a band whose formidable live reputation was captured in the concert DVD Edgy In Brixton and the American tour documentary The Year Of The Thief. “It’s the easiest and the best thing in the world to go and play your guitar for people. So we got a few years – and if we’re lucky, we’ll get many more.”
Kicking off the night will be Blood Red Shoes. Brighton England’s Blood Red Shoes features Laura-Mary Carter (vocals/guitar) and Steven Ansell (drums/vocals), two enthusiastic punk-inspired brawlers who came together in late 2004 upon the demise of their previous bands. With one song in tow, the duo landed a gig and Blood Red Shoes were born. Their name is a reference to Ginger Rogers, who allegedly had to redo a tap dance scene so many times that her white dancing shoes ended up soaked in blood.
Tickets are still available here.
Remaining Tour Dates:
May 1 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
May 2 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
May 4 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory Park
May 5 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
May 7 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
May 8 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
May 10 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
May 11 – Chicago, IL – Metro
May 12 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
May 14 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
May 15 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA
May 16 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
May 18 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
May 19 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
May 21 – Nashville, TN – Exit In
May 22 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West