Indie rock band with huge hits in the Noughties look very different 18 years on
Indie rock band The Fratellis were massive in the Noughties after shooting to fame with their breakthrough hit Chelsea Dagger back in 2006 – but they look very different now.
The Scottish group, who get their moniker from the Fratelli baddies in iconic Eighties film The Goonies, performed under the names Jon Fratelli, Barry Fratelli and Mince Fratelli. But the Glaswegians are not actually related.
In fact their real names are John Lawler (Jon) on lead vocals and guitar, Barry Wallace (Barry) on bass and backing vocals and Gordon McRory (Mince) on backing vocals and drums.
They achieved massive chart success with further hits such as Whistle for the Choir and Flathead, which featured in the iPod commercial. And the band went on to win Best British Breakthrough Act at the BRIT Awards in 2007.
But by 2009 – at the height of their fame – the band announced they were splitting up after admitting they had got so sick of each other they “couldn’t bear to be in the same room” any more.
The Fratellis burst onto the scene in 2006 with their huge hit Chelsea Dagger (
And their rock ‘n’ roll antics had started to make the headlines after frontman Jon destroyed the stage at a royal ball in Monaco – and threatened to not go on unless he was paid in casino chips.
“It’s kind of shameful really, but I decided an hour before I went on that I wouldn’t go on unless I got my share of the fee in poker chips because it was in a casino. Our tour manager, the poor guy, had to spend an hour running around trying to make that happen, because he really thought we wouldn’t go on and play. I just wanted to see if he would do it – and he did, he actually got my fee in poker chips,” Jon said in an interview with NME.
Revealing the real reason for their split, Jon told Riff magazine: “We had that kind of classic rock ‘n’ roll tale of this steep ascent and sort of falling from the cliff on the other side. Nobody tells you how to deal with it when it happens. It’s not the end of the world – it’s just music – but at that time, when you fall off that cliff of success… you’re not sure how to deal with it.
“It caused a lot of tension. We, or at least I, didn’t deal with that tension very well. I felt like the only thing do was run away in the opposite direction…Our way was to go off and do something else. Looking back on it, it’s sort of running away.”
How the band look now 17 years on (
For three years the band didn’t speak to each other and went off to work on different projects, with Barry joining a rock band, Gordon dipping his toe into heavy metal and Jon going it alone and recording a solo album, then starting a retro band called Codeine Velvet Club.
Then in June 2012 the band came back together to perform a charity gig and enjoyed it so much they started making music again. After debuting new songs such as She’s Not Gone Yet But She’s Leaving, Whiskey Saga and Seven Nights Seven Days, The Fratellis announced a comeback tour.
Since then the band have continued to play together and released four more albums – We Need Medicine (2013), Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied (2015), In Your Own Sweet Time (2017) and Half Drunk Under A Full Moon (2020). While they continue to perform and make music, Fratellis fans will have to keep their eyes peeled to see what the boys do next…