Fontaines D.C. / Pottery - live in Allston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Fontaines D.C. / Pottery

live in Allston (2019)

live show

There’ve been a couple new post-punk bands from the UK and Ireland gaining major traction over here in the States lately, Ireland’s Fontaines D.C. being one of them. I’m not sure if this was their first U.S. headlining tour or not, but at the very least it was their first in support of their debut studio album, the rather excellent Dogrel. And here at their Boston date, they sold out the venue pretty well in advance.

Direct support on this tour is being provided by Montreal, Quebec’s Pottery. When this tour was announced, I instantly checked out Pottery given that Fontaines D.C. have some pretty good post-punk associations (Shame, IDLES). Sure enough, Pottery is pretty good, a rather interesting and fully-formed band given that they only have one real release to their name, the recent No. 1 EP. The five-piece were extremely tight, and I don’t mean spatially, though I suppose it goes for that definition of “tight” as well: Fontaines had a backline set up on an already small stage (Great Scott’s a fairly small venue), so the band was just about on top of each other. But their performance was on-point: a precisely played strain of post-punk that’s more on the fun, upbeat and jaunty side of things, kind of in the vein of Talking Heads and their fellow countrymen Ought, with an occasional bit of Television (especially the fifth song they played). The packed crowd was pretty into it and bopping their heads away; it was hard not to get caught up in Pottery’s frantic energy. The band played almost all of the aforementioned No. 1 EP and then some, getting a pretty generous set time that was actually quite close to Fontaines D.C.’s. I didn’t even really recognize half the songs, in fact. Maybe they're even newer? Writing for an LP perhaps? But they were good, and certainly in the vein of No. 1, boding well for the followup.

Set list (9:17-10:00):

1. Lifeline Costume
2. ?


3. Smooth Operator

4. Spell


5. ?

6. ?

7. ?


8. Hank Williams

9. Lady Solinas


10. The Craft

11. ?

I imagine this was a hotly anticipated set for plenty in the room. At this point in the year Dogrel is still a top 3 album for me, and it has to be up there for plenty of other attentive guitar music fans; it has awesome emotional resonance, personal and political subject matter soundtrack by a really melodic and rollicking version of punk-leaning post-punk, like if the Fall could be played on rock radio. After a bit of an overlong intro over the PA (the actual entirety of folk singer Luke Kelly’s “For What Died the Sons of Róisín”), the band came out and took their places and launched into the playful “Hurricane Laughter”. Frontman Grian Chatten was a ball of nervous energy, pacing about the stage with a stone-cold serious facial expression, occasionally grabbing hard at his sweater to the point of likely stretching it out, and even slapping himself in the face sometimes (as he did during standout “Television Screens”).

Oh, and the crowd was LOVING it of course. There was a near-constant mosh pit right up in the front middle of the small floor, and the hookier parts of Fontaines’ songs garnered lots of raised arms and sing-alongs. They were compelled from start to finish and it was understandable. The band played almost all of the excellent Dogrel, tucking in two of the biggest sing-alongs towards the end (“Too Real” and “Boys in the Better Land”), with more of a raw and unbridled energy and less of a bright polish than on record. But they also opted to keep that energy even more consistent by swapping out the come-down closer of Dogrel, “Dublin City Sky”, for a new song, the more uptempo and sneering “Televised Mind”, appropriately slotted right after their other television-alluding song. It’s sprawling, noisy, and definitely good.

Overall, you couldn’t ask for much more from this show: a solid opener; Fontaines D.C. playing in an environment that will definitely not be this intimate when they return to this city; hardly overstaying their welcome (the crowd stuck around for a minute begging for one more song to which the band did not oblige); and playing with a fairly understated swagger mostly stripped of fanfare and bravado for about 50 minutes, getting in and out and certainly leaving a mark.

Set list (10:32-11:21):

1. Hurricane Laughter

2. Chequeless Reckless


3. Sha Sha Sha

4. The Lotts

5. Television Screens

6. Televised Mind

7. Roy’s Tune


8. Too Real

9. Liberty Belle

10. Boys in the Better Land

11. Big