Late 2018 Gigs: The LaFontaines

The LaFontaines, a Scottish rap-rock band, dominated Oporto…

I moved to Leeds back in September 2018 and, since then, I’ve had the most incredible freedom that money (a mortgage) can buy. The irony…

I’ve always massively enjoyed going to gigs, but commuting to the city and back had its cons — namely late and inconveniently-timed trains. Not ideal really. So, when Leeds became my permanent, no-curfew playground, going to gigs became easy. It was also much cheaper without the train journeys, and tickets for small-scale, more intimate sets are really reasonable anyway.

The first band I saw after getting the keys to my place were The LaFontaines. I went alone and paid peanuts for the ticket. I also got there annoyingly early — which I’ve learnt from since — but Oporto is a modest event space, so it didn’t feel odd to be there, sipping a half-pint and checking my phone, on my own.

Before The LaFontaines came on, they had support from Slang, who brought loads of character and energy to the state. I’ve since added loads of their tracks to my Spotify playlists, so that was a bonus.

By this time, the room (which was like a glorified cloakroom it was so lacking in space) had really filled up. It was cosy, to say the least. But it didn’t matter once the lads took over. Motherwell’s The LaFontaines were cheeky, playful and oozed confidence and charisma. They started with their latest single at the time, ‘Up’, and went through all the hits like ‘Common Problem’, ‘Too Late’ and ‘Release the Hounds’. At one point, they made us all sit on the floor then rise back up again — unusual, but it did make me feel more immersed in the experience. Frontman, Kerr Okan, even wandered through the crowd, having a chat, cracking jokes. It was such a great gig and one I’ll never forget — not least as the first one I went to since moving to the city.


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