Scottish indie rap-rock trio the LaFontaines created a unique sound combining influences from classic rock and R&B, hip-hop, pop, and soul, and have gradually built a reputation as one of the best live bands in Scotland.
The LaFontaines were formed in 2008 in the former industrial town of Motherwell, near Glasgow, by vocalist Kerr Okan, guitarists Iain Findlay and Darren McCaughey, bassist Anna Smith, and drummer Jamie Keenan. Influenced by acts as diverse as the Streets, the Beatles, the Beastie Boys, and Nickelback, they created a bombastic, hard-rocking, melodic, good-time sound topped by Okan's unique rapping in his native Scottish accent. Playing their first gig at the famous Glasgow venue King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, they cultivated a local fan base before building on this by touring nationally, making numerous festival appearances, and playing abroad in the U.S. and Europe.
Smith left the band in 2011 and was replaced by John Gerard. In 2015, they released on their own 889 Records their debut album, Class, which debuted at number ten on the Scottish album chart. That year they played their biggest show to date, selling out Glasgow's legendary Barrowlands venue. Findlay left in 2016 and was replaced by Neil Mulholland. Their follow-up album, 2017's Common Problem, was released by A Wolf at Your Door and had a darker, more world-weary tone. Gerard left the band in 2018 and Mulholland the following year, after which the LaFontaines continued as a trio. The band scored their first U.K. Top 40 album with their third effort, 2019's Junior on So Recordings. ~ John D. Buchanan