Exposure: The LaFontaines
- Paul MacDonald
- 3 February 2010
In an over-saturated music market it is becoming increasingly difficult to sift through the haystack of pretenders for a genuinely intriguing, passionate band injecting some much-needed attitude in a scene lacking in personality.
Lanarkshire band The Lafontaines provide this in spades. The enthusiastic group purvey hip-rock dipped in tartan paint, in keeping with the recent revival of the colloquial accent in music, and their native twist on a distinctly American concept has spliced an of-the-moment genre with conventional bar chords and catchy choruses.
They have been on the periphery of the much-coveted industry radar for a while now without ever being appropriately heralded, but interest continues to grow and kudos is being amassed from a variety of sources.
The group consist of beat-boxing front-man Kerr Okan, Anna Smith, Iain Findlay, drummer Jamie Keenan and Darren McCaughey, and they have recently stepped up their bid for acclaim with the release of their latest EP.
Peter Dickson, voice-over guru extraordinaire from the likes of X Factor and E4, provides a booming message of endorsement as the introduction to their live shows. Okan is the focal point of every performance, building a rapport with the audience not only with his razor-sharp wit, but with the tenacity of his vocal and his brutal take on modern life. This translates skilfully to their record, which captures the essence of their live shows.
The remaining quartet ably build songs around his tirades, ensuring that they can be streamlined into the popular consciousness with relative ease, and their adeptness for their instruments allows the songs to flow comfortably, allowing Okan to maintain his unpredictability.
‘Superstar’ and ‘Vulcan’ are particular standout songs from their MySpace site, but the performance and outlook in general is impressive – they have sidestepped numerous clichés in creating their vision, and everyone connected with this project seems to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.
A recent headline slot at Glasgow’s Classic Grand was well received, and with a number of gigs across Scotland over the coming months, their reputation looks set only to increase.
Paisley Union (with Tempercalm) Thu 11 Feb; GRV, Edinburgh (w Tempercalm); Sat 13 Feb; Scottish Alternative Music Awards, Classic Grand, Glasgow Sun 24 Feb.