John Murray on the return of Glasgow favourites after five years
What a sensation Glasgow band The Fratellis caused with their launch into the big time in 2006. The first album Costello Music sold a million and helped Chelsea Dagger become an anthem resulting in a BRIT award too. So here we are with album three after five years of silence. We Need Medicine (BMG) comes with a 10 date tour for November. Lots of rocky blues here and a bit of rockabilly with ‘Whisky Saga’ and a new stomping anthem in the repetitive ‘Jeannie Nitro’. The magnificent riff loaded ‘Until She Saves My Soul’ has Southern roots, ‘This Old Ghost Town’ is so packed with power its sounds like an old friend already and with a familiar drum intro while ‘Shotgun Shoes’ is from the Stones book of templates. I guess they already tested the waters with an earlier tour this year and of course T in the Park, so expect a return to their earlier status to be assured and helped by the ‘Seven Days Seven Nights’ single released a couple of weeks ago. Beautiful South founder David Rotheray found new fans with his solo project The Life Of Birds and his new release has an intriguing theme too using generally the same collaborators. Answer Ballads (Navigator), attempts to reply to some songs in history where we wondered what happened next. All in the same acoustic style with featured vocalists Julie Murphy performs ‘Jolene’s Song’ from her point of view, ‘Mrs Jones’ Song’ features Lisa Knapp as a fragile lover, Eliza Carthy is reflective as the Maggie in ‘Rod’s Maggie May’ and Josienne Clarke tells us Marie never made it home to Memphis Tennessee. With 60 tales of emotion from major artists, American Heartbeat (Sony), is the best collection this month.