Fangclub Interview: “Glasgow is a home away from home”

By Gregor Farquharson (@Gregoratlantic)

There’s no doubt that live ability plays a key part in how good a band are and Irish garage rockers Fangclub are absolutely no exception to this. The three piece act, consisting of Dara Coleman, Kevin Keane, and Steven King, recently released their debut album and have since embarked on their first ever UK tour.

The album has done wonders for the band, helping them to rack up over 100,000 listeners on their Spotify, and leading the band onto bigger and better shows. I caught up with the band before their first gig of the tour in Glasgow’s Stereo and asked them some questions about the crazy year they’ve had, and their thoughts on what their first ever headline gig in the Scottish musical haven was like.

Opening the show with Inside Joke, the fans knew from the get go they were in for a treat tonight. The track roared through the tiny venue, and the band’s rough, gritty guitar and vocals made the show feel more intimate than it already was. Going straight into a new song off the album Better To Forget, it was clear the band love playing the new songs, and seeing how well the crowd were reacting to them. It’s no lie that most of the crowd at tonight’s gig had heard of the band through local boys Twin Atlantic, as they supported them at the Barras three times at the end of 2016.

Dara: Well, that place it’s my favourite [venue]. Pretty much loaded in on the first day, we were there for three nights and it was just like our circus home. We were just running around the back corridors and getting lost on the stairwells and stuff and just seeing the posters of the people who have played there through the years.

It was nuts, and it’s just such an aesthetically beautiful building. It was insane, and it was pretty cool, cos it’s like a 50’s kinda ballroom vibe and then there was us, Pulled Apart By Horses and Twin just kinda like playing to all the crazy twin fans.

Tearing through the set, it was always obvious the band loved the city, and it was clear the city loved the band. Tracks like Lightning and Bad Words absolutely went off, and it was great to finally hear the band’s new tracks live, as they hadn’t played to us since the tour with Twin

A real highlight of the set was Role Models. Steven gave the song a long introduction talking about how the song is about that time that everyone has where you have to let it all out, and the band certainly did that. Powering through the garage rock track, the band were loving it up on stage.

Kevin: You guys are rowdy as fuck. Well it’s kinda like cos we are from Ireland, it’s kinda the same vibe as we get

D: Yeah we have the same roots.

K: Yeah it’s like a home away from home really. We did king tuts last year in September, and the crowd there were just, well, insane. There are two lads actually coming tonight that I’m friends with since the king tuts gig and i met them after the show and just got chatting away with them. You just meet so many new people in this city, it’s great.

Closing the set with the fan favourite Bullet Head the gig was finished with the same passion and ferocity we had seen throughout. Getting into the crowd with his guitar, the smile on Steven’s face said it all about what tonight meant to him. Sending the Glasgow fans away happy, the band went crazy on the final song. 

Steven: So like now we can build our fans and the crowd. Like before we were playing to other bands fans so now we can start to build the crowds and do our own stuff. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. From the start  we were just like no matter what we wanted to start the tour here in Glasgow, we actually got here last night so yeah, we just wanted to be here really bad.

It’s clear the gig was so much more than a debut headline, it was the beginning of something for the band. A sign that perhaps, they might have made it in this ever growing industry.

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Album Review: Fangclub – S/T

By Gregor Farquharson (@Gregoratlantic)

Irish rockers Fangclub have been around for 4 years now and are starting to form a great reputation in their homeland’s rock scene as well as in the UK. Their Bullet Head and Coma Happy EP’s were relatively successful and led them to support some big name artists, such as Twin Atlantic and Frank Carter. Having just dropped their debut LP, it’s safe to say that the garage rock outfit are set to have a bigger and brighter future ahead of them.

Intro track Bullet Head is a track that has already became a favourite amongst fans, having featured on their debut EP, and is the perfect way to show listeners what Fangclub are all about – opening with a hard riff, and a rough chorus, the song is the ideal way for the band to kick things off. Succeeding track Role Models continues this high octane action, throwing in some crashing drums into the equation that sound perfect, perfectly sounding for the band. While both songs may sound very similar, it ends up feeling like a sonically cohesive introduction to the band that packs a punch.

Songs like Lightning, again, very much sound similar to what we are used to from the band, yet still show some elements of new sound, with higher pitched guitar tones being just one fresh element out of many.  Lead single Bad Words is probably the strongest on the album, the powerful yet catchy riff being perfect for tiny, sweat fest shows and the vocals fit the feel of the song completely. The drums are another key aspect of this track, with crashing cymbals playing a key role in making the song what it is. Best Fake Friend perfectly showcases the rough side to the band, with gritty vocals really coming through on the chorus of the song. Drums also play a huge role in this track, perfectly setting the feel and tone of the track throughout.

Common Ground has a Foo Fighters like feel, quite like some B-side off Wasting Light. The guitar tones and vocals play a key element in making the track what it is. Better To Forget is a very strong and very well polished track from the band, with its huge chorus and unique tone, the track is surely set to be a fan favourite. The album is rounded off with the much slower Animal Skin, a track with very played out guitars and drums, and mellow vocals, a very fitting end to what is a highly anticipated album. Fangclub have managed not to stumble on their first full length record, something that many acts wish they could have done. While it may not be breaking any new ground, it kicks things off perfectly for the up and coming act, making it likely that we’ll see more of the band in the near future.

7/10

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