Bleachers, Dingwalls, gig review: Not just a Fun. diversion for Jack Antonoff

The band looks set to become a festival favourite

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The Independent Culture

Bleachers make a lot of noise. Right on the first note, their sound explodes from the stage and just continues from there, relentless.

Fun. lead guitarist Jack Antonoff has taken the reins as frontman, maintaining the big, anthemic feel that made fun. a darling of the charts in 2012, and bringing in his obsession with eighties British synthpop.

Antonoff’s deep, hollering voice suits this infatuation perfectly – the band could soundtrack any one of John Hughes’ Brat Pack movies – and he offers those introspective, over-the-top lyrics that would usually be confined to an emo record. 

Performing tracks from the band’s debut LP Strange Desire, which received advice from the likes of Taylor Swift and Paramore’s Hayley Williams, many of the songs are filled with an incessant optimism.

“Roller Coaster” simultaneously screams Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” and Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark”, with its frenetic energy and rousing chorus, while a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” is earnest but muddled.

Bleachers may come across as more of a diversion while Antonoff isn’t touring with fun., but they have enough finely-tuned pop material to see them turn into crowd favourites over the summer festival season.