There’s an air of excitement circulating around Oxford Road tonight as one the UK’s current hottest acts, Fickle Friends, are here to perform in front of a sold out crowd at Manchester Gorilla. After an afternoon of searching for a ticket myself, luck strikes half an hour prior to doors, and I’m gifted entry to what I’ll later discover will be one of the most exciting nights of music I have attend all year!
Fickle Friends are by no means a new band. Having been around the live circuit for over four years now, the degree confidence they demonstrate as they walk on stage and unleash opener ‘Hello Hello’ makes perfect sense, but by no means makes it any less incredible to watch. This is a band who know exactly what they want to be, and orchestrate that perfectly over an electric thirteen song set. Amidst a colorful stage decorated in palm trees, each member of the band contributes perfectly to create a gorgeously full sound; reflecting the studio versions of the tracks whilst also providing that added live edge.
As well as showcasing their singles, EP tracks such as ‘Sugar’, ‘Velvet’ & ‘Paris’ get rare outings, exciting the more hardcore fans as well as giving each band member a chance to shine individually. Arguably the standout moment of the show occurs during ‘Say No More’ as an exhilarating atmosphere truly engulfs the room, leading to a mass sing a long and come the bridge, the entire audience bouncing up and down in unison against the song’s infectious bass line.
Lead singer Natti continues to excite the crowd, but honestly at this point it’s not even needed. The band continue to unleash their hits and the audience continue to respond with insane energy and admiration. As the gig reaches its final act, a roar erupts around Gorilla as it’s announced that the band’s long-awaited debut LP will finally see the light of day and be released in March of next year. The five piece then go onto finish in spectacular style, closing with fan favourites ‘Swim’ & ‘Glue’, leaving the crowd craving more.
If you don’t already listen to Fickle Friends, to put it plainly, you have to check them out! If their signing to Polydor Records wasn’t already enough to convince me of their potential, tonight’s show without a shadow of a doubt was. With an album finally on the way next year, there is no better time to get into one of the most exciting alt-pop bands on the scene right now.
By Mike Gardner