Inside Bournemouth’s o2 Academy on Saturday May 6th 2017 I stand excitedly awaiting The Kooks, a band I have adored since their debut album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ back in 2006.
After being fairly underwhelmed by previous support acts of theirs (except the talented Blossoms), I perhaps somewhat ignorantly expected Saturday’s show to be no different. However, at just after 8PM on walk calmly and shyly five young musicians by the name of Fickle Friends.
The band launch into a 35 minute long Indie Dance Pop masterclass, showing immense musicianship and a fantastic ability to entice a crowd previously unaware of their existence. The effortlessly cool five-some smash through their set with indie swagger and a clear love for what they do.
Every track is a fantastic mix of live instrumentation (guitarist Chris’ playing is unreal) and programming that all sits perfectly behind Natassja (Natti) Shiner’s creamy vocals.
Their most recent single ‘Hello Hello’ features a deliciously dark bass synth intro building through the verse and pre chorus into the track’s first chorus which explodes with a driving synth bass and kick drum rhythm. With a lyric in which the narrator asks someone to open up the track does just that; as it progresses it’s arrangement becomes delightfully more complex.
Compare this to the irresistibly danceable ‘Say No More’ – a track centred around a live bass guitar sound that’s everything from Bernard Edwards to Kevin Baird. Huge double tracked tom-drum fills and a The 1975-eqsque Stratocaster sound combine with warm Prophet synths and rich vocal arrangements to make this one hell of a pop song.
So why are they the most exciting Indie Dance Pop act in a decade? Well quite frankly because they deserve to be. With a fantastic arsenal of pop stardust that peers La Roux (for example) never managed to amass, time on their side (their oldest member has just turned 25), a debut album produced alongside Mike Crossey (The 1975, Wolf Alice) to come and a huge UK tour in the winter Fickle Friends really do have the world at their feet.
For fans of: Two Door Cinema Club, Michael Jackson, Prince and The 1975.
Fickle Friends will play:
Fri 6th Oct 2017 – The Hub, Plymouth, UK.
Sat 7th Oct 2017 – Thekla, Bristol, UK.
Sun 8th Oct 2017 – Engine Rooms, Southampton, UK.
Tues 10th Oct 2017 – Academy 2, Dublin, Ireland.
Tues 17th Oct 2017 – The Wardrobe, Leeds, UK.
Wed 18th Oct 2017 – Riverside, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Fri 20th Oct 2017 – Plug, Sheffield, UK.
Sat 21st Oct 2017 – o2 Institue 3, Birmingham, UK.
Wed 25th Oct 2017 – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK.
Thurs 26th Oct 2017 – o2 Kentish Town Forum, London, UK.