Yes, the Fratellis are back together, and their hometown crowd gave them a suitably rowdy reception upon arrival. It was a shame that the resulting gig never really matched the energy of the audience.
For Jon Fratelli, you wonder if he'd quite like to possess a time machine, given that the trio's 2006 debut Costello Music was played nearly in its entirety, making up the bulk of the set. Having worked through Codeine Velvet Club and a solo career with positively indecent haste, Fratelli is now back where he began, rattling through oldies like Creepin' Up The Backstairs.
That would be fine, except the delivery here was all rather subdued. The crowd bounced around but the band themselves, save energetic drummer Mince, cut quiet, lethargic characters who churned flatly through song after song.
They weren't helped by a sound mix of dubious quality that resulted in a tinny noise early on, while the group's rambunctious nature was consistently undercut by the amount of guitar noodling and mini-jams that plodded into their good time rock n' roll and slowed everything down.
The sheer lack of zest occasionally altered, especially on the ever-catchy Whistle For The Choir and Baby Fratelli's big stomp, while new offering Ghostown proved a fine piece of power-pop.
Yet the sheer length of the set meant that the pace crawled, and the band rarely pushed matters faster when required. Their calling card (or albatross, depending on perspective) of Chelsea Dagger spiced up the encore and remains a ridiculously fantastic tune, but this was a blunted display.