I was introduced to a band called Fickle Friends a while back, I had heard good things about them and was keen to learn more. I arranged an interview with the lead singer, Natti and we chatted about LOADS of stuff ranging from their debut album which should be landing in Summer 2017, their approach to songwriting and reflecting on the summer festival circuit, you can read the full interview HERE.
A few weeks on, we were invited along to catch them play live in Exeter, who were we to say no….
Opening the show was a London based electro pop artist going by the name HUNTAR he was performing solo this evening but I found out that he often plays alongside a guitarist and a drummer which I guess removes much of the emphasis away from the sequenced music that he was using tonight.
His set was chock full of crowd pleasers and it wasn’t long until he had coaxed the audience forward towards the stage and had them engaged in some energetic dance moves that helped to break the ice in the room. He came across as a very confident artist who was more than capable of handling the audience who were more than happy to join him in a couple of orchestrated sing-a-longs.
I always look forward to the support acts at gigs these days as you never know what you might find and after hearing HUNTAR, I’m so glad I made the effort and arrived early, he’s an artist that you really need to be checking out and judging by his 102k followers on Facebook, it looks as if I’ve not joined him early enough!
After a short break and some stage arranging, the main act took to the stage. The crowd were revved up and raring to go and it looked like the Fickle Friends fan club was in attendance at the show judging by the swarm of people stood right next to the stage, dancing and singing Natti’s words back at her, a very impressive sight for a band in the early stages of pop stardom! From the off, they jumped straight into their latest single ‘Cry Baby’ which sounded immense, tight funky guitar, some great work on the keyboard and a solid back line that held it all together, allowing Natti’s vocals to really stand out.
They managed to give a couple of new tracks an airing, ‘Bite’ and ‘Hello Hello’, both going down really well with the audience who were clearly up for a great night and boy, were they getting one! Natti’s engagement with the audience throughout the set was great, she’s so nice and easy going, happy to chat to fans and find out where they’ve ventured from to see them. This is the sort of banter that I expect though rarely see at gigs these days, it’s as if most bands are happy to hide behind their fringes whilst mumbling incoherently into the microphone to fill the void whilst the guitars tune up and get ready for the next number.
It was also great to see the band clearly having a great time up there on stage, they each had a part to play and watching them, you could see that they had an understanding of each other, the bass player was locked in with the drums, the guitarist stood back from the singer and keyboard player though did enjoy a couple of minutes in the spotlight when he jumped down towards the end of the set to dive around the front two rows, cajoling everyone into a frenzied ‘jump-a-thon’ which fitted the mood of the evening perfectly. Topping off the set were the anthemic tones of ‘Brooklyn’ & ‘Swim’, both carrying the dynamics of a band much more established with the guitar and bass really shining through, these are easily my favourite indie pop tracks at the moment, receiving some heavy rotation courtesy of Spotify!
Chatting to the band after the show, they were really pleased with the audience reaction to the new material and were looking forward to getting back in the studio in L.A. after the tour ended.
This is a band that demands your attention, not because they do anything out of the ordinary, they play indie pop music laden with catchy lines, clever lyrics and more hooks than a fisherman’s bait box….. and they do it SO well!
I look forward to the Summer of 2017 when the band are looking to release their debut long player and will no doubt be hitting the UK and European festival circuit hard. If you get the chance to see them live, make every effort to do so as I have a funny feeling that these guys are gonna be HUGE!
Words and Pictures by Steve Muscutt