Here’s another indie band that were briefly a success and caught my interest. The Fratellis were a trio from Glasgow, none of them were related, but they all adopted the surname Fratelli (taking this from a character in film The Goonies). They hit the big time in September 2006 when their their second single “Chelsea Dagger” became their first Top Ten hit, reaching no. 5.
I remember that this was on the radio rather frequently at the time, and it probably still is somewhere. The video was rather entertaining too. “The boys get lonely after you leave” was a catchphrase all over for about five minutes. Also in September 2006, their first album “Costello Music” reached no. 2. They finished off their successful 2006 with their second and final Top Ten hit “Whistle For The Choir”.
As far as I remember, they never appeared on the cover of NME, which was a disappointment as I thought that they would be popular enough to do so, although it was possible that they missed out because unlike most of the musicians that were appearing on the cover around this time, they were alive. They were rewarded though when in 2007 they won the Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough. Maybe the drummer could now afford to buy a new vest.
However, it was by this point that their Top Ten hit singles were already behind them. In June 2008 “Here We Stand” became their second album to make the Top Ten. They did go on to release some more good singles including “Mistress Mabel” that as far as I’m concerned proved that they still had it (although this wasn’t about the Mabel who used to review the singles on Teletext), but in August 2008, what turned out to be their final hit single “Look Out Sunshine!” reached only no. 70, and they split not long after.
The Fratellis did reform a few years later, but they have now reached the “album spends only one week on the chart, and it only gets that far because of their dwindling but dedicated fanbase” stage, like what has happened to so many indie bands whose time on the singles chart has long since come to an end. Their sixth album “Half Drunk Under A Full Moon” was released earlier this year.