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author LL date 21/10/18 venue Hotel Cecil, Copenhagen, DEN

This Sunday evening marks the very first time the Scottish indie rock trio Fatherson visit us here in Denmark. They are touring to promote their recently released third album "Sum of All Your Parts" which continues their beautiful mix of atmospheric indie and dynamic alternative rock. Thus, tonight we are treated to a host of beautiful rock songs from the new as well as the two older albums that all marry delicious guitar riffs and yearning melodies with vocals in that characteristic Scottish dialect. Perhaps due to the Sunday booking in a generally busy month for concerts in Copenhagen, we are not more than about 20 people present at the venue but that proves to make no difference for the quality of the solid show.

Photo by Mischa Nielsen


The band members enter the stage in pastel-coloured suits looking somehow chill and super professional all at once. They have a fourth live member with them here who supports them excellently with extra guitar, keyboards, and vocals, but who is placed just out of reach of the lights that mark the trio, which is almost a shame considering his spot-on contributions. The set kicks off with blinking rainbow-coloured lights surrounding the upbeat "Lost Little Boys" that get the happy vibes in the room going immediately, which is nice since it could also have just been a slightly awkward start in the largely empty room. But the band treat it like a cosy night with lead singer and guitarist Ross Leighton remarking that it feels a bit like playing a chill living room set, and the appreciative audience is immediately sending the good vibes right back at the band. And that is fully understandable as they play through their songs in a manner that makes it hard to put a finger on anything really. Apart from a few moments during the very first song, the sound mix works as it should with all elements clearly coming through but most importantly, it is always a joy to experience a band come through with a little more grit than you would perhaps dare expect. On record, the songs can sound very polished at times but tonight, every riff and melody comes to life and the songs get that dynamic live quality that fans can really appreciate.

The setlist features the new album heavily at first with the amazing "The Rain" especially making an impression as the second song. Little details are revealed throughout the set that makes it easier to grasp the complexity beneath the smooth flow of most of Fatherson's songs, like when the resonating piano-like figure that begins "The Rain" turn out to be played by the drummer on a programmed drum pad. The atmospheric build-up, the groovy bass line, and the cheeky sudden ending that just calls for more all serve to quickly set the bar high for anything to come. Several acapella sections arrive through the set, as Leighton pulls away from his microphone and the instruments quiet down. Both the open-sounding "Gratitude" and the more dramatic and somber "Ghost" make impacts especially through that. The dynamic "Half the Things" from the group's first album is also worth mentioning as it melancholically tells the story of Leighton's friend whose relationship fell apart only half a week after moving in with a girlfriend. Right after this, the melancholic "Reflection" from the new album leaves the band showered in red glowing lights and manages to carve out a moment in time that feels separate from the surrounding songs entirely.

From the group's second album "Open Book" we get some great renditions of the very atmospheric "Just Past the Point of Breaking" and later "Always", here with deliciously rough synths that make great impressions and get some singalongs and low-key dance moves going among the audience. They are both topped, however, by that album's title track, "Open Book", here performed with a more quiet beginning and ending. A strong ending streak continues with the older single "I Like Not Knowing" that is just overflowing with hooks and presents us with a very elegant vocal handling as Leighton and his support vocalist interchange and overlap for several sections. Finally, the more all-out rock banger "Charm School" from their new album ends the regular set with a dragging groove that, again, has heads and hips moving ever so slightly. Although we are not many people here, the applause is engaging and insisting and Leighton reappears with his guitar to play "James" solo without his microphone, making for an absolutely magical ending to the set. One can only hope that the band will find it worthwhile to return here in the future as they truly showed quality here and I can only feel sorry for the Copenhageners that missed out on this tonight.


  • 1. Lost Little Boys
  • 2. The Rain
  • 3. Making Waves
  • 4. Gratitude
  • 5. Just Past the Point of Breaking
  • 6. Mine for Me
  • 7. Ghost
  • 8. Half the Things
  • 9. Reflection
  • 10. Always
  • 11. Open Book
  • 12. I Like Not Knowing
  • 13. Charm School

- Encore

  • 14. James

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