Featured cover band Fontaines D.C. isn’t the only band breaking out from Ireland or the United Kingdom right now – in fact, there’s been a palpable surge in the number of rock and punk-adjacent artists crossing the pond and finding favor with North American audiences.
A crop of rock bands from the North Atlantic are poised to join them in the hearts of North Americans.
Idles, a British band that formed in 2009, struck gold with its 2017 debut Brutalism, followed the next year with Joy as an Act of Resistance. Their fourth album, Crawler, was released in November. Averaging 1,115 tickets sold per show and an average gross of $28,854, the band is currently thundering its way across North American theaters after kicking off its tour at “This Ain’t No Picnic” in Brookside Park at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Just Mustard, which recently supported labelmate Fontaines D.C. on many of its U.S. dates, also hails from Ireland. The five-piece, behind vocalist Katie Bell, averages 800 tickets sold per show and a gross of $17,425. It’s currently headlining clubs in Europe before returning to North America for a headline run including at Baby’s All Right in New York City, 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, Barboza in Seattle and Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco.
Another band tipped for greatness is Dublin-based The Coronas, which was poised to conquer America in 2020 with an acclaimed album but, like Fontaines D.C, found itself unable to tour behind it.
That’s changing with a new album, appropriately titled Time Stopped, set for an Oct. 7 release and, finally, its long-delayed North American tour kicking off Nov. 2 in Toronto and winding down Nov. 19 in Los Angeles.
The Coronas manager Jim Lawless says he’s noticed an uptick in emerging rock bands over the last five or so years, counter to any narrative that rock music is dead.
“I think I’ve noticed as well that sort of guitars are coming back,” Lawless told Pollstar from a tour bus in Dublin. “You know, that seems to be what it feels like, that it’s getting more indie-based or kind of DIY – people making music for themselves and then getting themselves signed up [to a record label] rather than the heavy A&R path.
“You know, live is what we do best,” Lawless continues. “That’s where we really excel and where, like most bands, we make that connection with our fans, especially after not being able to do so for so long. Not having that was quite difficult.”