The Fratellis.

Formed in Glasgow in March 2005.  Fifteen months later, their debut single, Henrietta, hit the Top 20 in the UK singles charts.  It’s follow-up, Chelsea Dagger, went astronomical, reaching #2 in August 2006 and was quickly adopted as a terrace chant by football fans, helped by the fact that many match-day announcers of the time used it as the noise to celebrate a home goal.

Debut album, Costello Music, charted at #2 in September 2006, all of which led to the band winning a Brit Award for best breakthrough act in March 2007, as voted for by the listeners of BBC Radio One.

It was around this time that I went along to see them, at a dreadful venue in Edinburgh called The Corn Exchange.  I know Mrs V was with me, and I’ve a feeling that we were there with Jacques The Kipper and his missus.  In any roads, JtK, or whichever Edinburgh friends we were with, had bought the tickets, or perhaps had won them in a competition or something, I genuinely don’t know.

The gig is up there in my Top 5 worst of all time.  The band were lousy in a venue where even the very best of them, such as Blur and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, have failed to overcome the awful acoustics.  But in saying that, 99.99% of the audience seemed to be having a good time.

The music is what should be taken into consideration when deciding if a band should be consigned to landfill indie or not.  The fact that the three permanent band members go by the names of Jon Fratelli (vocals, lead guitar), Barry Fratelli (bass, backing vocals) and Mince Fratelli (drums, backing vocals) means I’d be likely to chuck it away even without listening. Oh, and they also have a song called Baby Fratelli….

It has to be admitted that The Fratellis knew how to write and record tunes that sounded great blasting out of a radio or being played on a stage in a field in which thousands of drunk or high punters would go a tad loopy for a bit.  But there’s really no substance to any of it, is there?

mp3: The Fratellis – Whistle For The Choir
mp3: The Fratellis – Henrietta
mp3: The Fratellis – Baby Fratelli

I was surprised, in doing a bit of background research for today, to discover that the band have released a further four albums since Costello Music, with another one due sometime this year, having been held back, along with plans to tour, from 2020 as a result of the pandemic.  Can’t say that any of the subsequent material has ever registered with me.

There are numerous copies of the debut CD available via the second-hand market on Discogs, from as little as 1p (plus postage).  That’s from a seller in Bulgaria; here in the UK, it’s more common to be 25p or 50p (plus postage).



  1. Corn Exchange truly is an appalling venue. One of my worst ever gigs was seeing Primal Scream there (not my idea). Concur with everything JC says about the Fratellis, except the name thing which is a bit harsh and, by the same reasoning, would imply tossing out everything by The Ramones.

  2. Nope, can’t find a justification for the existence of the Fratellis at all. The only thing I can think of is they were good for lager sales at T in the Park.

  3. I just didn’t get it. I was convinced that ‘I Must’ listen to this band – I think it was about the time of the first LP, it could have been later. Despite seeing the name in publications, online and local posters they are instantly forgettable, to me.
    They clearly had a following and if touring, still recording, must have retained some of that following? I’ve never equated a ‘festival band’ as a sign of any quality – quite the reverse, in fact.

    Middle-of-the-road light rock better sums them up. To landfill, if you please.

  4. I had no idea they were Scottish- will they ever make the Saturday series???

  5. I only saw The Goonies for the first time a couple of years ago, so even the hilarious choice of band name was lost on me at first. Not that it will have made any difference. From what little I’ve heard, more dross than Luther Vandross. Landfill, ta very much.

  6. I’d like to think they read the blog this morning and accelerated the publication of that piece!!

  7. ‘Chelsea Dagger’ is the only song I know by that band. I still like it but I gather from the comments that it’s been overplayed to the point of nausea in the UK. Not familiar with the rest of their stuff and the songs JC posted don’t say anything other than: ‘Are we Supergrass or Arctic Monkeys–I can’t remember!?’ So, maybe not landfill but certainly a more environmentally-friendly solution like using cd’s as coasters or something.

  8. The debut album is a blast and does bear repeated playing. They seemed to run out of ideas and inspiration halfway through the second album though. It’s good, but not great (later albums only just make the “good” bracket – if I’m feeling benevolent)

  9. Um. I like them. Maybe just a singles band; their stuff does feel a little samey after a couple of songs. But they’re a fun listen. Lighten up you lot, get your heads out of your arses, pour yerselves a pint and sing along.

  10. @tragically unhip: LOL. If you’ve hung around this place long enough, you’d know that the regulars who comment here are waaaaaay past having their/our heads up our arses. Jeez, it would cost us a fortune in osteopath bills just to be able to get them out again. Instead we’ll just continue to be honest about the fact we don’t like mediocre music, sip our ovaltine and chuckle at those of you who think we’re just trying to be hipsters!

  11. Landfill indie? Ha ha! watch the video, and let the band have the last (and best) word .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.