Tuesday, September 30

Friendly Fires- Live

. Tuesday, September 30


Friendly Fires
September 28th
Korova, Liverpool.

“This barrier is really annoying me” chastises Friendly Fires lead singer Ed Macfarlane during between song banter. The problem is it’s keeping him from his audience, and what an audience it is. Perhaps I was naïve to underestimate Friendly Fires popularity but Korova’s low ceilinged basement is rammed. I’ve never seen it this busy and I have seen some big bands play here (Foals, Klaxons). Then again, why wouldn’t people want to see Friendly Fires? Their debut album is amongst the finest of the year and it’s instanatneous pop hooks mixed with the most danceable rhythms around make for an irresistable mix.

As the sweat descends upon the packed crowd the mirrors on the wall steam up and dancing bodies rub against flailing limbs and bellowing chests. Macfarlane traverses the steel barricade to join in the melle throughout the gig heightening an already ecastatic atmosphere. ‘Photobooth’s taught bassline gets feet tapping straight away before segueing into the equally brilliant ‘On Board’. The glam stomp of ‘White Diamonds’ is a highlight, showcasing the skills of the bands tight musical skills whilst maintaining the sense of fun the is carved throughout all of the songs on show tonight. Macfarlane introduces ‘In The Hospital’ sarcastically as “A slow burner” before launching into three minutes of brain chasing catchy brilliance. If you cut Friendly Fires they bleed pop, talk of house, electro and whatever influences you like but the choruses here are huge and deserve to be heard in far bigger venues.

The bands singles are perhaps their finest moments yet and tonight they take centre stage. The Epworth produced wall of sound ‘Jump In The Pool’ is a deviation from the more direct hits in Friendly Fires arsenal with it’s trippy sonics and afro-beat backing but it still maintains the dance pop ethic that permeates all of the St. Albans bands sound. It also works well as a partner to ‘Paris’ tonight, and pretty much any nights, best song. A glorious and romantic love song that wraps daydreaming plans of escapism around fast beats and shoe gazy guitars, it is the culmination of all the great ideas and sounds Friendly Fires have to offer.

As Macfarlane spends more time in the audience they themselves go the opposite way surfing onto the tiny stage over the barrier. The gig ends with the album finisher ‘Ex-Lover’ and the sweaty masses congreated here move back into enjoying personal space and fresh air again. Whilst the amount of people gathered tonight was surprising it will hopefully become an ‘intimate’ gig in the future as Friendly Fires deserve adoration the world over.




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