Fickle Friends @ The Wardrobe – Live Review

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By Jack

Brighton’s Fickle Friends have Soon To Be Big Deal in Pop written all over them, and their punchy, fresh pop sound crackles with life at The Wardrobe.

It takes some time before the Fickle Fivesome arrive. They have two support along for the ride, nimble pop from The Golden Age of TV and something approaching punk from High Tyde (who announced they were from Brighton perhaps six to seven times). They were well received on the night, and certainly deserve a second look.

Some long-suffering tech has the job of arranging some fake fern trees on stage, before the opening hum of ‘Hello Hello’ announces the arrival of the headliners. Opening with the most widely publicised track (particularly on Radio 1) is a sign of confidence, and that confidence is certainly borne out by the strength of the set.

Fickle Friends don’t have to scrabble about for material as many bands touring an EP might; the quality of their output to date is consistently high. Indelibly tight grooves, fruity synth hooks, and tasty licks pepper the set. It’s easy to see why the Friends have been pegged as 80s throwbacks, but this is only partly accurate. Certainly the spirit of New Wave is there, but the sweet and playful lyrics of singer Natti are closer to 90s soul and R&B.

And do you cry baby? – Fickle Friends at The Wardrobe #ficklefriends @ficklefriends #live #livemusic #leeds

A post shared by Hey Nineteen (@hey.nineteen) on

Natti herself is visibly fighting a cough – and is on the edge of having a full on Theresa moment if only the letter ‘F’ would fall off the tour banner behind her. If her voice was limited in any way on the night then we were none the wiser.

Whilst the sound quality of their set at the LUU for Live at Leeds was far higher, they are still able to balance their sound well. The glossy synth loops which are always prominent on record do struggle to get through; the tropical loop at the heart of ‘Cry Baby’ is a little buried. Thankfully they retain the slick pop vibe which is often lost when a live drummer is introduced into the mix.

Fickle Friends have been charming the blogosphere since their inception. The fact that another Mom’n’Pop music blog is swayed by them won’t come as a surprise to anyone. But damn it, Fickle Friends are fantastic and deserve all the good words we can muster. Catch them while you can.

Fickle Friends are touring throughout October. Listen to the ‘Glue -EP’ here.

 

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