Fatherson & Friends - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Wed 16 Jan
Acoustic show from Celtic indie band fleshed out with brass and strings
Calling in a string quartet and horns section is normally the preserve of bands entering the ‘mature’ middle-phase of their career, but young Kilmarnock quintet Fatherson already feel grown-up enough to dial orchestra, albeit as a one-off for this King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution acoustic show. It’s a fun and skilfully-executed little indulgence from the Scottish band most likely to ‘do a Frightened Rabbit’ soon with their similarly rousing strain of Celtic indie, though, despite a sell-out, the mood is curiously subdued relative to the full-throated mass singalongs the band’s Scottish gigs usually represent, this perhaps not being the sort of thing their young fans are accustomed to attending.
Fatherson’s tunes certainly have the melodic sophistication, and biblically-hirsute frontman Ross Leighton’s voice the tender warmth, to suit orchestral augmentation -- ‘Waves’ for one is particularly prettily embellished by Elbow-esque levels of sweeping majesty. Though this transpires to be only a partly acoustic show in the event, as electric guitars are parachuted-in at the half-way point. Even then, Fatherson ask for dispensation to air a couple of impressive new songs, before letting voices collectively soar to fan-favourites ‘First Born’ and ‘Gone Fission’. Credit to them for using this standalone show to try something different, where many bands might have lazily pandered to expectations.