8th November 2010
As we approached our usual pub of choice near tottenham court road “The Royal George”, I can’t help but feel relieved. It is in fact extremely forturnate to even be still standing! With ther encroaching CrossRail development boring a huge hole in the earth, they spared this little gem of a pub. Although now it’s usual good music was replaced by the din of the huge electricity generators and digging equipment outside. Sad as it was, we had to leave!
What we found was a packed line-up at borderline headed up by electro-upstarts Angry Vs The Bear. 80’s synths, and electro-cool with a slight rocky feel to it was their staple diet and they stuck t the task well. Despite having the some awful haircuts (this was seemingly a pre-requisite to being onstage tonight) their catchy melodies were rather likable. A decent bill-footing act to get the crowd warmed up.
As soon as Neon Trees kicked off, by feelings of dislike began to sprout. A rag-tag bunch of crazy mop-tops fronted by an uber-camp, instantly disagreeable bloke with the worst haircut of the night (a flattened black Mohawk) and bags of in-your-face cockiness cast a sour first impression. This proved a hard tag to shake, which they went part way to managing thoughout their energetic electro-loaded set. Musically they were produced a spritely set of spiky indie guitars with synth heavy melodies not too dissimikar to a frantic “The Killers“. By the close of the set, a) I was happy never to set eyes on the lead singer again and b) suprised by the likability of their jaunty party electro-rock.
Foxy Shazam cast an althogether different picture. From the very instant that frontman Eric Sean Nally sprang on stage suddenly the venue exploded into a fun loving riot. The band of misfits who graced the stage were about as odd a collection I’ve seen. A huge bearded keyboardist, an 80’s throwback bassist, a ‘to the manor born’ trumpetter and on vocals, a tight leather clad “Count of Monte Cristo” with a moustache to rival the best of the Movember contenders
Eric is one of those lovable frontmen who enjoys crowd interaction and being as chaotic as possible. Before even singing a note he told us of how he poked his eye out the other day, then immediately performed an inpromptu stage dive! The night continued in prety much as hectic as it began with the keyboardist mounting his instrument, many more stage dives, outlanding dacne moves, athleticism and piggybacks. Eric did plenty more incredibly odd things here tonight including proclaiming his heterosexual outlook, donating a T-shirt to a girl in the crowd (at the wishes of a bemused looking heckler), showering 100 pound coins over the first few rows of the crowd, not forgetting his downright random between song banter. As far as his vocals go, you could say he’s slightly squeaky. But despite a talking voice of a 2 year old who has just swallowed a mouthful of helium, he belts out cracked vocals in a jubilant fashion putting his hinted falsetto octave range through a punishing schedule
All this over exhuberance was just the kind of behaviour their music deservs. Their rich layered rock songs with incessant poppy melodies and uplifting chorus lines are just waiting to be screamed out at full volume. The highlights were their first ever UK single “Oh Lord” with its piano driven freakout, “The Rocketeer” with gang vocalled 5-4-3-2-1 countdown and USA Superbowl rousing anthem “Unstoppable”.
…hmm…god knows what was going on here…
However none of these can touch the outright fun and blistering indie rock of the incessantly paced “Killin It” with plenty of glammed up guitars and headbopping dance moves. As much as their music is pop, its how they put pride into their crazy performance and play with such a bright outlook that captivated me this evenig. Surely it’s not right to be having this much fun on a monday night. A simply brilliant show from a band which deserves more attention!
The Final Farewell