Friendly Fires at Norwich UEA, 29/4/09


After a few months break from gigs in Norwich whilst I was at university, it felt comforting to be back again. The UEA is a great intimate venue for seeing up and coming bands and artists and even though it’s the university’s LCR, there is usually a good age range of people within the crowds. On 29th April I went to see Friendly Fires for the first time there. I’ve missed so many opportunities to see them in London, so when I heard about this I jumped at the chance. I love watching their lively performances on YouTube and I especially love the one they did at the NME awards show earlier in the year. After enduring the first support Boy Crisis who can only be described as ‘bloc party on pills’, I get to watch Hockey who for me, are one of those bands you’ve heard in the past but forget you have. This was a pleasant surprise and they put on a good show, but that wasn’t too difficult after the previous band. As soon as Friendly Fires came on stage and started playing their first song ‘Lovesick’, I knew they were going to live up to my expectations. As I anticipated, ‘Jump in the pool’ is the crowd favourite and gets everyone hyped and dancing with the person next to them. But the best part of the gig develops from ‘Ex Lover’ which is extended into an up tempo electro beat for an exhilarating ending, complete with crazy strobe lighting. Every member of the band extroverts so much energy and this together with vocalist Ed McFarlane’s extraordinary dancing makes one hell of a show. I can see why many music critics have compared his charisma to the late Ian Curtis. They sail through tracks from their self titled debut album and just when I realise I’m having so much fun, it’s all over.

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