Glasgow’s The LaFontaines played Oporto back in September 2018 and it was the first gig I went to after buying my flat. It was symbolic in kicking off my regular city-centre gig attendance, so it was only right to grab a ticket for their recent Headrow House show.
Time’s always a funny thing — had I left a few seconds earlier or later, I wouldn’t have strolled into the entrance courtyard of Headrow at the exact same moment as frontman, Kerr Okan. It was unmistakably him, but I didn’t have the balls to say hi. Regrets.
In spite of this, it turns out I rather misjudged my arrival — their tour-long support, Novacub, were packing up. It wasn’t a huge wait until The LaFontaines took centre stage, though. With mixed demeanours of cool, casual and confidently swaggering, the now-trio assumed positions during an adapted version of ‘Alpha’, which saw the set explosively start.
Between a bit of “the lighting’s shit in here” banter and a lot of in-crowd movement from Okan, the latest hits were played in full force — ‘Up’, ‘All In’ and ‘Body’ captivated everyone. Even ‘Pro’, a more wistful offering I’ve never gelled with, was banger.
As a big fan of their back catalogue, I was pleased to hear ‘Release the Hounds, ‘Junior Dragon’ and ‘Too Late’ among the lot. Even without the collaborators, ‘King’ was a show-stealer as well.
Despite them being a really well-together band that has no trouble producing tune after tune, it’s their humble character and cheeky patter that would get me back in a crowd of theirs on a third occasion. Considering coming back to Leeds next year, chaps? Count me in.