So, although we’re not actually living outside of Scotland at the moment, we knew we had to get along to see Scottish indie-rock quartet Fatherson after they announced a date in Berlin which coincided with our elongated stay.
Normally travel is about indulging in all things foreign of course – the food, the music, the culture – but there was something wonderful in hearing the Kilmarnock accent of Ross Leighton front a terrific performance in front of a packed out crowd in the effervescent German capital.
‘Music & Frieden’ was a smaller venue than the group would be used to playing in the UK. We’ve previously seen them pack out The Liquid Room and The Caves in Edinburgh, but there was a decent turn out in Berlin. Well over 100 at a (very rough) head count.
“There were only 30 people here last time we played this venue. Thanks for coming along,” a smiling Ross told the crowd, evidently pleased that a whole lot more came along this time. Truth be told, the band were grinning throughout as their words reverberated back at them during the 15-song setlist.
Features from the first album – ‘Foreign Waters’, ‘I Like Not Knowing’ and ‘Cat Stevens’ – were particular highlights. Ross lead strongly, backing away from the mic to let the crowd carry the tune from time to time and Marc Strain and Greg Walkinshaw made the most of their presence on bass and guitar respectively.
It seemed a shame that ‘James’ was omitted from the setlist, the lyrics surely making it somewhat of an ex-pat anthem from Fatherson – ‘When I first came here I thought I’d have a problem / moving away from home…’ – but other than that all the fan-favourites got the nod.
Of course, you can guess who was the loudest in the crowd (and if you can’t, then take a peak back towards the opening line of this review).
The small Scottish contingent worked to create quite the hometown atmosphere – the song ‘Hometown’ itself being one of the loudest sing-alongs of the night – and the classic “one more tune” chant reared its head to bring the boys back on for encore ‘Mine For Me’, a great finish to the night.
A very entertaining show from the four-piece. One to remember for both the loyal ex-pat following in the crowd and the Berliners less previously acquainted with Fatherson.
Stuart Kenny 4/5