Brotherly love as The Fratellis bring tour to Sheffield

From left, Barry, Jon and Mince Fratelli are The Fratellis.
From left, Barry, Jon and Mince Fratelli are The Fratellis.

Three Scottish “brothers” have their eyes wide open when it comes to the music business – but admit they still feel lucky at what they do.

The Fratellis shot to fame in 2006 with their debut album Costello Music, which spawned a string of hit singles, including Chelsea Jagger and Whistle for The Choir.

Nine years later, following the release of their fourth album, the trio – frontman Jon Fratelli, drummer Mince Fratelli and bassist Barry Fratelli – are hitting the road on a UK tour, including a show in Sheffield.

“It seems like we never stop,” admits Jon, real name John Lawler.

However, the 36-year-old says he would not have it any other way.

“We’re still able to travel the world playing guitar,” he says. “It’s the best job.

“We’re lucky to be able to still do that.”

For Jon, however, the real highlight is the song-writing.

“My excitement is for the making of the record,” he says. “The real excitment is in the initial spark of an idea.

“There’s nothing more exciting than the first feeling when something new you like arrives.

“We may spend a week or two putting the song together, but the idea is a flash of a second.”

He admits the ideas come from anywhere – but for the first time fears that the spark may have been extinguished.

“The idea comes from anywhere,” he says. “In the last 15 years, that has usually been the case, but for the first time it’s not really happened.

“I have only written two songs this year and that’s kind of unheard for me.

“At first there was the feeling of ‘oh no, that’s that’, but now it’s exciting, I have no idea of what comes next.”

“No idea” is not strictly true, as the band plan to write a new record next year – although their fourth album, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, only came out in the summer, it was finished last October.

The record label, Cooking Vinyl, says: “It’s the sound of a band at the peak of their powers. An exhilarating trip; it’s as much flying as it is falling with style.

For now, though, the band’s thoughts have turned to the tour, which includes a date at Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Friday, November 20.

And despite having a new record to promote, the band are very aware that fans want to hear the hits.

Jon says: “We have never seen the point of asking people to come to a show and then giving them a deluge of songs they’ve never heard, although there may be four or five new songs.”

He admits playing certain songs over and over again can go “stale”, but feels a responsibility to give the audience what they have paid to see and hear.

“There’s no getting around the fact that if you do anything repetitive it goes stale, but there is still a level of excitment from people at shows and that’s why you play them.

“It would be a lie to say that when we play these same songs 1o years later we’re still as enthusiastic about it. However, we still play them with enthusiasm, because that’s what people should get.

“Without people coming to see you, you are just in a job.

“We are nothing without having an audience to play to.

“We thank the people who come every night. Without someone to play too, your in a room playing to yourself and that’s pointless.”