The Fratellis are heading to Newcastle’s O2 Academy on Friday 30th March as part of their UK tour, so Kyrie Morris caught up with frontman Jon Fratelli to find out his views on the North East and what fans can expect from their new record.
Your new album, ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’, is due for release on Friday 16th March. How would you say this record compares to your previous releases?
I probably wouldn’t compare it, it’s just not my nature to do that, but it’s my favourite record of ours so far. It’s the first time we’ve kind of came close to making something that I would want to put on and listen to which is always the goal. At this point, in my opinion, it’s the best thing we’ve done – and that’s good enough for me!
2018 sees you touring extensively throughout the UK and North America. You must be excited to get back on the road?
Yeah, well it feels like we never really stopped even though the last time we toured was in 2016. It’s just more of a continuous thing, but each new tour is exciting from the point of view that, hey wow, we still get to do this. Each new tour is another one in the bag.
As part of your upcoming tour, you’re set to play Newcastle’s O2 Academy on Friday 30th March. Northern crowds are renowned for their energetic presence and ability to induce organised chaos. What are your experiences of playing in the North East?
Newcastle’s O2 Academy is always on our itinerary. It’s funny because it’s always very loud and with the noise comes a certain level of enthusiasm. I don’t necessarily remember what the crowds are like in every town or city, but for some reason, I always remember Newcastle because it’s always the same level of enthusiasm every time we play there. I love that venue; it just always works well in there. I’m not shitting you, for some reason, Newcastle just always stands out for me!
Your body of work is littered with iconic tracks. As a band, is there any particular albums/songs that you enjoy playing the most?
What happens really is, as time goes on you make new records and the way you play and write material changes. It’s only natural to find those more recent records the most enjoyable to play because that’s where you are at that particular time. In terms of playing old material, we try and fit everything in that people would want to hear.
From Glastonbury to Japan, you’ve played at some incredible venues throughout your career. Are there any particular gigs that stand out to you?
You know, my honest answer is the first gig we ever played which was in the basement of a little bar in Glasgow Called O’Henrys. It only fitted around 50 people inside and double that seemed to show up. We only had about 6 songs at the time, but there was a definite feeling of yes, this is happening. We just knew. It wasn’t arrogance or anything; it was just obvious that this was going to work now. So yeah, still to this day that’s the one that stands out for me.
Lastly, can gig-goers expect any surprises at your upcoming Newcastle show?
I wish I could say yes, but we do the same thing night in night out. Hopefully, we put in so much effort that that’s enough. Effort is really all we have to offer; we don’t do bells and whistles, anytime we’ve tried it’s just not really us. But you’ll get effort – that’s guaranteed!
The Fratellis play 02 Academy, Newcastle on Friday 30th March. Tickets, priced at £20.65 in advance, are available from seetickets.com.