Electric Six: Fibbers, 28/11/12

I’ve always been slightly resentful of bands like Electric Six. As we all know, most people get into music in order to compensate for a lack of sense of humour/personality. So when these ‘funny people’ encroach on our sacred stage, and shockingly don’t acknowledge the fact that life is an ordeal and all music should reflect this, we don’t like it. Or we say we don’t. I don’t know anymore.

Starting the set with a pledge to blow the York Minster into space and start a new Electric Six oriented intergalactic organisation, Dick Valentine, the terminally nervous-looking frontman, worked the room with his brash, frat boyish patter. Admirably, the band played the entirety of their debut album ‘Fire’ (released 10 years ago) from start to finish. During this blast from the past, I was reminded of how a band with songs such as ‘Gay Bar’ and ‘Dance Commander’ got to be so popular in the first place: at a time when rock music had lost its swagger, when clean cut bands like Linkin Park and Nickelback were whimpering all over Kerrang and MTV, Dick Valentine’s irreverent bunch were a relief from all that earnestness.

Fast-forward ten years however, and the same music out of context just felt deflating. The flippancy with which their lyrics are seemingly written (every chorus was a variation on the words ‘disco’, ‘fire’ and ‘party’) coupled with their formulaic approach to song-writing (think AC/DC in A major key) made the whole set difficult to get behind. The funny thing was, the audience didn’t think so. The mosh pit was kept fuelled throughout the entire set; kids chucking their mates onto the stage, jubilant cries of ‘Yorkshire! Yorkshire! Yorkshire!’ at the mention of the drummer’s Doncaster heritage… Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe I’m the one who’s changed. Maybe the pain and ennui of growing up has caused me to forget how to have fun. Or maybe I just wasn’t drunk enough.

Jacob Harrison