Fight Like Apes, Underground Railroad: 22nd September 2010
Tonight was the first time I;ve been to the Camden barfly for a gig, It seems to have been missed on our numerous outings thus far. Its a pretty standard small venue with decent enough sound, easily accessible bar and not too extortionate either. However it can tend to be very dark and dingy, but when the lights finally rose for our first band none of that seemed to matter much.
After hearing that Underground Railroad were the support for tonight I was hardly overcome with joy. After seeing them support for the Thermals a few years back, All i can recall of them is that they were diy punky frenchlings…playing English songs with not a great deal going for them. Since then they seemed to have switched sides and moved into noisy feedback loaded dreary indie land. Despite being supremely loud, I almost nodded off to sleep as they plodded their way though set which was best once it had finished. Although having a cello player to boost their musical interludes and soundscapes was a nice touch.
After keeping the crowd waiting, arriving 10 minutes late, Fight Like Apes soon made light work of dispelling any ill feelings towards them as they kicked off in spectacular style. Taking a huge step away from the seriousness of the support band, their lightheartedness and insane randomocity was exactly what was required. From the very off tonight, the crowd went bleeming bonkers. Very rarely have I seen a crowd this up for a crazed bounce-a-round! As soon as the first keyboard chime, snare drum snapped or bass line kicked of each song this was a call to arms that sparked moshing and pogoing on an epic scale. The only pause they managed was when the whole venue was summoned to kneel down (Which would have been easier if the moshers hadn’t spilt pint and pints of beer on the already treacherous floor) for the start of Battlestations..odd indeed!
Fight Like Apes
Lead singer MayKay is instantly likable with her cheeky Irish charm, quirky nature and ecstatic dance moves. She pours every ounce of energy she has into each and every syllable while manically flinging her body at all angles.Vocally she is so exuberant that you get entranced in her delivery and performance. Her voice is softly sweet one second, the next it’s out of control stopping at the edge of squawking.
Her and the rest of the bands in-between song banter is cracking, pulling out insults and jokes while rally interacting with those who have payed to see them. After a spillage incident, a slightly odd older (& rounder) gentleman donated his pint to which the response was to drag him up onstage to sing. Needless to say, he was having a whale of a time!
With the release of their new LP The Body Of Christ And The Legs Of Tina Turner just around the corner, plenty of new tunes were given an airing tonight, most of which were fantastically received. The pick of their new tunes were Jenny Kelly and Come On, Let’s Talk About Our Feelings, both upbeat electro bombs of high intensity genius. Yet FLA still found time to cram in all of their hits from their debut with the pick of the bunch being I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me with its fast/slow loud/soft dynamics & crowd chant of “You’re So Fired“, Jake Summers with its crowd chant of “Jake Summers is the Man” and Something Global with its crowd chant of “Give Me My Hook” (see a pattern here?).
For an encore they added more randomness into their already unique blend of punk/electro/newwave/whateveryouwanttolabelit by playing one of the most genius covers, an amped up Salt N’ Peppa’s Push It! A simply great way to end the show which has seem more than its fair share of high octane disco vibes, raucous electro-popping and outlandish quirkiness. A show which took me totally by surprise, cementing its place as one of the highlights of the year!