An interview with Barry Fratelli of The Fratellis: Hope & Glory Festival, touring, favourite tracks and more

Posted on 9 June 2017
By Chelsea Connor
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The Fratellis are due to play Hope & Glory Festival in August this year, along with acts such as Razorlight, The Pigeon Detectives and Reverend & The Makers. We caught up with Barry Fratelli to ask him about their up and coming tour, latest album and what to expect from the festival.

PR: So firstly, how’re you doing?

I’m very well. A bit of a strange day, post-election and all, but I’m very well.

Can you tell us a bit about Hope & Glory Festival?

It’s genuinely one of the festivals that I’m most looking forward to. The line-up is one of the best that I’ve seen in a long time and it just keeps getting better and better. Every time we go to Liverpool we never fail there, the crowds are always incredible and I think they’re in for a treat all weekend with the acts that are playing.

We are really, really looking forward to playing there. Ironically, I’ve played bass in three of the bands that are actually playing over the weekend which is a weird one. (The Twang, Ocean Colour Scene) so it’ll be nice to see them there also.

PR: What can fans expect from your set? A mix of old and new material?

I mean, it’s a funny one, with festivals we’re under no disillusion of what people want to hear, you know? A mixture is probably what it will be, there will be new stuff in there but people don’t really want to hear new material at a festival, particularly at this one as the line-up is incredible.

PR: The line-up is fantastic! You’re doing a lot of touring this year, Livestock, Downtown Melbourne Festival etc, is there a gig that you’re particularly excited to be playing?

There is yeah, but it hasn’t been announced yet, so I don’t think I’m allowed to say. It’s not Glastonbury or anything like that, it’s overseas and it’s somewhere we have never been before.

Which is quite exciting because we’ve pretty much been around the world but yeah, we’re going somewhere where we have never visited which after 10 years of being in a band, is a rare thing.

PR: So for you personally, what’s your favourite track to play on tour?

It changes, it really does. We recently toured our first album Costello Music for our 10 year anniversary, which we hadn’t played live in a long time. So I guess it’s probably those older songs that we haven’t played in a while just purely because it was nice to play them again. There’s no getting away from it, every time we play ‘Chelsea Dagger’ the place goes mental. If you said you didn’t enjoy that buzz then you’d be lying.

PR: Reviews for your fourth album, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, have been amazing. Were you nervous about the initial release?

We’ve never been a band to worry about what people think of our stuff. As cliché as it sounds It’s true, especially when it comes to the press, I mean personally, I’ve never been arsed by it.

PR: That’s the best way to be I’m guessing, it makes it easier for you to write more freely without being worried of reviews etc?

I think I does, yeah. I’d definitely say so. And the end of the day, we don’t do this for reviews or acclaim, we do it because this is what we do. But to hear that we’ve had positive reviews is nice.

Particularly for this one, as we got back together a few years before that and released an album that hardly anybody heard of (We Need Medicine, 2013) so in people’s mind this was our first proper release since then so it was nice to see the change.

PR: When it comes to writing/performing, do you have a favourite track from your newest album?

Yeah, we ended up not playing my favourite track live though. I listened back to our album and it’s weird, because when you perform them live they sound different to you. So when you hear it on the track it’s a shock sometimes. Me and Mince (Drummer) listened back to it the other day, and we listened to Rosanna, which I think it’s one of the best thing we’ve ever done, but it’s just one of those songs that didn’t work live. But the recorded version of that song was mind-blowing for me, it’s something I was very proud of.

PR: How do you think the band’s sound has changed since your first album, Costello Music?

I think if you haven’t bettered yourself as a musician as a musician in 10 years then you’re probably doing something wrong, you know? So as much as I think the difference between the first album and the latest album is quite a lot, I don’t think we’ve ever released something that you put on and don’t recognise it’s us, just from the playing style and things. Some bands just knock out the same album every time and manage to get away with it, but I think if we did that we’d be bored shitless.

PR: When you’re not touring, how do you spend your time?

Boring answer for you for that one I’m afraid. I’m a dad so I like to spend time with my small children, so when I’m not touring I love being just being a dad. It’s a nice balance. I’m fortunate that the band is still going well, I’ve still got a career there, and I’ve got a beautiful family that I get to come home to.

Big thanks to Barry Fratelli for chatting with us, you can catch The Fratellis and more acts at The Hope & Glory Festival here in Liverpool this August.

Tickets are still available at