Monday 16 April 2018

LISTEN: Friendly Fires - 'Love Like Waves'

Friendly Fires have been a huge musical love of mine since around the time of the release of their second record, Pala, back in 2011. From what I had seen of their live shows on Youtube (particularly this Glastonbury set) I knew that they put on an incredible show both musically and visually, with frontman Ed's contagious snake hips taking centre stage. Of all the bands I love who I haven't seen live yet, they've always been pretty high on the list, but I genuinely believed I'd never get to see them as their hiatus began to stretch out over a few years.

In September the band started to post some cryptic photos and video clips online. Could they be coming back? Suddenly, a huge comeback show at O2 Academy Brixton was announced, and somehow, I managed to get a ticket. Fast forward through half a year of anticipation and endless listens of both of their records, and the show finally arrived last Thursday. I took some pretty huge expectations along but somehow the band, performing as an ensemble of eight, exceeded them and put on one of the best gigs I've ever been to. From the music itself (an incredible nostalgia trip and incredibly tight considering they're slightly out of practice), Ed's dancing (it struck me as hilarious that he told the crowd "I'm loosening up a bit" a few tracks in, having already danced his socks off at every possible moment prior to this) and the incredible visuals to the fact they managed to bring some Summery vibes to an otherwise drizzly April, the entire show was everything I hoped that it would be. Before they took to the stage it almost felt like a "don't meet your idols" scenario... I'd placed so much love into the band, what if they disappointed? That turned out to be a foolish worry - they were incredible and I am very much still in love with them.

A couple of days prior to the show, Annie Mac announced that she would be premiering their new track Love Like Waves on her BBC Radio 1 show on the evening of the gig. Naturally I started to wonder how well I'd be able to hear it through earphones in the crowd. Fear not - the band announced that the airplay would be streamed live through the PA at the show, urging fans to get down early to be there for the first listen. Hearing this first new music from the band in years I was pretty overwhelmed, even more so to see it performed live just a couple of hours later. After several (honestly, lots and lots) more listens since the show I can confirm that the track is pretty darn great, and alongside new cuts Tijuana and Can't Wait Forever which were performed at the show, it gives us a lot to look forward to from the band. I've got everything crossed that they've got an album in the pipeline - I can already tell you for certain that it will be worth the wait. 

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