Live Review: Fickle Friends – Liverpool

Fickle Friends

Arts Club, 20th November 2016

Words & Photos: Elena Katrina

ff-1-14It was a typically cold and wet November evening and I was wrapped up as snug as a bug on my sofa. Very few things can get me to move out into the cold wind and rain but knowing I’m going to see a great band is one of them. Though I admit it was still a struggle, but one that would inevitably pay off come 9pm.

I was invited some time ago to go and see Nytclub play when they supported alongside Clean Cut Kid on the last Fickle Friends tour, but I didn’t make the Chester show and have since managed to miss out. Now I know what I’m missing out on though and it’s a cracker! Full of energy Nytclub’s frontman bounds around the stage, even as far as to the barrier, encouraging music fans, who have most likely never heard their music, to get involved. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this kind of approach work, but work it did. I heard several of the crowd talking after their set saying they would go to their £3 club night next month at EBGBS – result. I might even join them.

While I’d normally try and watch all support bands I wasn’t overly keen on this tour’s main support, which is a shame really as Fickle Friends have always had great support bands but it is what it is and I didn’t drag myself out of my comfy spot at home to have a moan, so on with the good stuff.

fickle friends elenakatrinaFor a Sunday night I was pretty impressed with the turn out for this show, I know Fickle Friends have a staunch following around town and also they they’re not playing Manchester on this tour, but still, a lot of Sunday shows I’ve been to of late have been less than impressive when it’s come to audience turn out. The guys n gal came onstage to Thursday night applause, but remained a bit Sunday night rather than Friday night – don’t blame me for this analogy, blame Jack, who was determined to make the crowd feel full on sweaty and raucous as he sipped away on (presumably) a Jack n Coke. I’m not sure the young crowd needed that much encouragement but they gladly went along with it, especially at the front.

Kicking off their set with Cry Baby and Could Be Wrong had already worked the crowd up nicely and then we started to get the treats. The brand new material that hadn’t been played anywhere yet, a sneaky peek at what is to come on their forthcoming album. I swear I blinked and the show was over though. A few highlights included the rather unwise discussion about Manchester and Liverpool – which as  Londoner I found really amusing, especially Jacks (perhaps now drunken?) comment to rally the Mancs together and get everyone to fight. Natti didn’t look all that impressed with the suggestion though and managed to calm the boos now coming from around the room. None of it was in menace though, all good banter – luckily.

fickle friends elena katrinaFor a band who don’t often talk that much at shows there was quite a lot of chitter-chatter on this occasion. Something that wasn’t lost on the band either with Natti saying “This is the most we’ve ever chatted at a show – ever- maybe I’m super nervous .. or super comfortable” before launching into the next track. I personally loved the stage banter, bringing band and crowd together is never a bad thing. Live they’ve always proved to be tight and energetic and this Sunday (Friday, if you’re going with Jack) was no different. This is a band who have worked hard on their performance, each member playing their part, each member offering up something else – some bounces, some claps, some hair swishing… you name it and they probably do it.

I, like many others, forgot that it was freezing cold outside and allowed the tropical summer breeze of Fickle Friends sounds wash over us. I, so much so that I almost forgot to take my jacket home. Last few tracks of the set were current single Brooklyn, which got one of the loudest cheers of the night but I’ll not forget the look in Natti’s eyes when the crowd sang back to Swim without her while she stood almost motionless and took it all in before a huge beam spread across her face. It felt like a moment, I felt it and I’m pretty sure she did too.
Bring on the Fickle Friends album in 2017 and watch these guys soar.

Watch the brand new video for Brooklyn here:

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