The line in front of the purple octopus on the façade of the Rickshaw Stop was around the corner. The Fratellis concert was sold out and people had come from hundreds of miles away to see the Scottish band play. Finally the doors opened and the crowd crawled in, swelling to fill the carnival tent-like interior of the Stop.
It wasn’t long until the first band came on stage, a bad ass looking female drummer, a geeky bassist, a guitarist who looked like an Amish hipster, and a singer who tottered on stage, bleach blonde and bleary eyed. “I’m late,” she told us, and then Conway started her set. Her dance style was somewhere between aggressive cheerleader and three year old who has to pee, but the music was catchy and exciting, her voice ragged but powerful. They played songs off of her debut EP ‘Big Talk’; some of the songs that really stood out that night were ‘Hustler’ and ‘Sudden Dawn’.
The next band was The Ceremonies, the three Cook brothers dressed up like nice boy greasers and their back up band. The brothers harmonized beautifully and took turns singing solo. At the same time they played a variety of instruments like guitar, tambourine, and saxophone. They played songs off of their debut self titled EP, including the stand out numbers ‘Land of Gathering’ and ‘Nightlight’. The rich and lively brand of folk rock they played filled the air around us and bounced through our veins.
It was past eleven o’clock when the Fratellis came on stage. Then the three Scots in black T-shirts and their keyboardist [also in a black T] proceeded to rock the house. The floor was vibrating, people in the crushed together crowd were singing and trying to dance without bumping into anyone. With nary a sign that they had recently broken up, the Fratellis played everything from ‘Henrietta’ to ‘I Got My Nuts From A Hippy’ to songs off their new album ‘We Need Medicine’ which dropped that very night. They kept up to far past midnight, sweating and joking with the crowd. “Sorry about sweating on you,” said the singer Jon Fratelli to the front row, pushing back his crazy flyaway hair, “You’re probably all going to tell your friends ‘I paid good money to see the Fratellis and the singer dripped sweat on me all night.’” In response, a woman farther back in the crowd screamed, “You can sweat on me!” Thankfully he didn’t take her up on her offer. At least that we know of. The night came to close beautifully and we left the Stop nearly deaf but happy.
Photos Ryan Stewart