Friendly Fires - O2 Academy, Leeds (05/05/2009)

Adam Ogle | Wednesday, 06 May 2009

Friendly Fires - O2 Academy, Leeds (05/05/2009) In an era dominated by manufactured products created for platinum success and tabloid fascination, a generation where so-so guitar bands are constantly churned out, something refreshing is needed from time to time. If there is one word that describes Friendly Fires, refreshing is that word.

After the perfect warm up in the shape of American buzz band Hockey, the crowd were ready to shake their youthful torsos to the sound of Friendly Fires. They informed the crowd that they were "here to party" (and they weren't ones to go back on their promise).

In terms of the frantic energy, chaotic lights and mesmerising drums that were to come, opening track 'Lovesick' was like a warning, a signal to get strapped in or go free because this was going to be one hell of a show. The soothing saxophones added to the foot-tapping beat to create a Jamiroquai-esque number that served as an excellent starter.

Listening to Friendly Fires on a recording, you get a chirpy, easy-listening vibe, yet live their sound is exaggerated ten-fold, mainly thanks to snake hips vocalist Ed Macfarlane, whose moves wouldn't look out of place at a hula-hoop competition.

This is evident from second single 'Jump In The Pool', where the faint synth is complimented by the samba beat. Macfarlane became a commandeering figure, ordering the crowd to "Jump in the/Jump in the pool", while the mesmerising drum solo had you laid on Copacabana beach with a margarita, surrounded by scantily clad dancers.

Although upon opening your eyes the dancers had gone, it didn't matter. Macfarlane was like a Duracell bunny as they burst into newest single 'Skeleton Boy', another upbeat and, live, very bluesy number.

'In The Hospital', a much more straightforward indie song and 'White Diamond', a song which screamed '80s, were both met with more bendy legs from the hyperactive front-man.

After a mass clap-a-long to the invigorating 'Photobooth', the band were urging people to get 'On Board', a phenomenal song that was a plea they didn't need to make.

After a fantastic rendition of debut single and crowd pleaser 'Paris', Friendly Fires were done. All that was left was an encore performance of 'Ex-Lover', although after such a amazing show, it wasn't the climax it could have been. A disappointing ending for such a fantastic show.

Rating: 5/5