Here’s a last.fm review of last night’s gig that perfectly sums it up for me (“I didn’t really have any expectations of Friendly Fires’ performance. Obviously their album is great but how would that translate to the stage? In the most amazing light and hip gyrating show ever!”).
Last night was full of out-of-synch jumping, serious headbanging, bad-but-who-cares singing along (apparently, we’re all gonna live in Paris, I promise, I’m on it), profuse sweating, camera flashing and the predicable flying beer cups. I did manage to dodge the beer (for once), but I couldn’t escape the attack of FF frontman Macfarlane’s armpits….The dood threw himself at me, not once but twice (during “White Diamonds” I think, and then again during “Paris”), and each time, my head ended up completely pressed against his chest so the only way for me to get some fucking air was to move towards the armpit area… not a smart move, I know.
Highlights: “White Diamonds”, “Jumping In The Pool”, “Paris” and Macfarlane’s dance moves (I might steal those from him).
Full set of photos here
I’d like to start by saying that if I have to get back surgery, I’ll send the bill to Ra Ra Riot’s management. My herniated disc and I had to sustain 2 hours of standing through a DJ set (DJ Mikey Four in the Main Room) that got some uncontrollable back contortions from me (that can’t be good for my back, surely), another 30 minutes of an annoying opening act [insert back spams of total disapproval] and then — finally!— an hour or so of rocknrolla, Syracuse style. By the time Ra Ra Riot came on stage, my back and my entire left leg had gone to sleep anyway; not a bad thing, considering that I had made the risky decision to position myself on the front line: that’s about a few hundred people plotting your death behind your back. Not good. At one point I got the ritual beer showering treatment but I pretended as if nothing had happened coz, I’m that classy, and also I couldn’t turn around without risking a major sciatic trauma.
As for the Ra Ra, they were sensational. I’ve been a fan since earlier this year and that was based on the handful of songs from their EP. They dropped their first album a couple of weeks ago, and it’s excellent, albeit just a predictable extension of that EP I knew and loved already. But I seriously recommend seeing them live. They are 100% into their set and they do the sort of crazy shit to their backs that I can only dream of being able to do myself. Vocalist and front man Wes Miles kept jumping up and down (which makes taking good shots of him a bit challenging) and pounding his chest. Cellist Alexandra Lawn, and violinist Rebecca Zeller are total cuties and they were so into the songs that it was clear to me that all they wanted was to ditch their instruments and join Wes Miles in his jumping frenzy (and chest pounding maybe?).
I know that it’s stating the obvious but every single one of their songs sounded much better live. Their set was a bit short (1 hour or so I think) but their repertoire is still limited so fair enough. However, they did not come back for an encore, which left me wanting for more. And I can’t for the life of me remember if they played “Suspended in Gaffa” (one of my favourite songs from their album)…I mean, did I miss something? Did those nasty kids finally manage to put me in a coma for an entire song? Oh well… It was great, it was a riot.
Added bonus: Koko. It’s the former ‘Camden Palace’ (the first London venue Madonna ever performed at, back in her ‘Everybody’ days). Beautiful club/concert venue that has had an impressive line up of musicians. This year alone, they’ve hosted some of my favourite current bands such as Operator Please, the Ting Tings and MGMT. By the way, the venue’s website has a great photo gallery (side note: that cute Koko photographer kept getting in my shots).