The Fratellis

The Fratellis


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A brashly melodic indie rock outfit from Glasgow, the Fratellis seemed to emerge fully formed from the Babyshambles-inspired boho-chic scene that also spawned the Rakes and the Paddingtons. Their debut full-length Costello Music (2006) mixed the tried-and-true sounds of glam rock, stripped-down acousticisms, and Class of 1977 punk, featuring a pair of Top Ten hits in the U.K., "Chelsea Dagger" and "Whistle for the Choir." (In time-honored punk fashion, the three band members all used the surname Fratelli.) Subsequent records earned Top Ten placings in the local Scottish charts, including 2008's Here We Stand, 2015's Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, and 2018's In Your Own Sweet Time. The Fratellis were formed by vocalist/guitarist Jon Fratelli, drummer Mince Fratelli, and bassist Barry Fratelli. The witty trio played its first show in early 2005, maintaining that the band's moniker was merely an homage to Barry's original surname (however, other rumors suggest that the Fratellis borrowed it from the nemesis family featured in Steven Spielberg's film The Goonies). Such trivia only added to the Fratellis' growing appeal upon their debut, and the band's limited-edition self-titled EP arrived in April 2006. Although few copies were pressed, the record received a helpful boost from Zane Lowe's Radio One program, which put the acoustic-driven track "Creepin Up the Backstairs" into regular rotation. Televised appearances on Later with Jools Holland and Top of the Pops followed during the early summer, while the group's second single, "Henrietta," earned the Fratellis their first U.K. Top 20 hit. "Chelsea Dagger" began climbing the U.K. Top 40 that August, and the debut album, Costello Music, finally arrived in September. Although the album failed to chart in most countries (even an American iPod commercial featuring the track "Flathead" failed to spark much interest across the pond), Costello Music enjoyed a great deal of success at home, earning the bandmates a BRIT Award and peaking at number two in their native U.K. The Fratellis returned to the British charts in 2008 with "Mistress Mabel," a track from their polished sophomore effort, Here We Stand. The band then went on hiatus for a few years; during that time, Jon formed the torchy duo Codeine Velvet Club in 2008 with Lou Hickey and released a solo album, Psycho Jukebox, in 2011. Meanwhile, Barry joined the Twang as a touring member and Mince played with Jon's backing band as well as with Throne o' Diablo. During this time, "Chelsea Dagger" also became the unofficial theme song of the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks. In 2012, the Fratellis regrouped for a U.K. tour and announced in 2013 that they had recorded their third studio album in their native Glasgow. We Need Medicine arrived in October 2013. By the end of the year, they were already writing songs, some of which appeared on the Soul Crush EP, available as a free download on the band's website. The Fratellis recorded their fourth album in Los Angeles with producer Tony Hoffer (who also produced their debut); preceded by the singles "Me and the Devil" and "Baby Don't You Lie," Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied was released in August 2015. The following year, the band celebrated the tenth anniversary of Costello Music with a U.K. tour. In 2017, they began work with Hoffer on their fifth album. Preceded by the disco-tinged track "The Next Time We Wed," In Your Own Sweet Time appeared in March 2018. The Fratellis headed back into the studio in L.A. with Hoffer to record their next outing, 2020's Half Drunk Under a Full Moon. ~ Andrew Leahey & MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi