The Franklys are an all-girl garage rock’n'roll band based in London, featuring a rhythm section as solid and driving as an army tank, which consists of all-American drummer Nicole Pinto and home grown talent Zoe Biggs on bass. Fronting up the quartet like a pair of firecrackers personified are Swedish pair Jen Ahlkvist (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), and Fanny Broberg (lead guitar), contributing with double-barrelled screaming guitars and melodic guitar hooks, lending a rich variety to the styles and sounds that cascade off the stage.
We caught up with the ladies before their show on June 26th in Plymouth and chatted about the previous nights show in Bournemouth where they said they were very well looked after and were looking forward to rocking Plymouth.
The Tiki Bar has recently been renamed to ‘Exile’ and hosts some of the finest touring acts that the UK has to offer, we’ve seen many quality acts there in the past and no doubt will continue to do so providing the people of Plymouth carry on attending and supporting local independent live music venues.
Opening up the proceedings for tonights musical entertainment was the Leeds based trio Vendettas who are riding the wave of the northern indie scene with their mod revival 60s inspired rock and roll.
We happened upon the guys at the local CO-OP near the venue where they were lining their wallets from the cashpoint machine and said that they looked like they were in a band, they were easily 200% cooler than everyone else in the store dripping in Pretty Green togs and wearing desert boots, imagine our smug looks when they took to the stage!
They provided some killer tracks with driving beats and some very 60’s influenced guitar and bass parts, looking as if they had just walked in from a Carnaby Street coffee bar circa 1966!
Luke and Ryan (guitar and bass) share the vocal parts and everyone joins in with the harmonies, which to me is a good thing as it really brings each member out of the shadows and allows them to share the limelight, not pushing too much responsibility on to one key member.
Robert (drummer) was knocking out some awesome beats and seeing him sat so high on his kit reminded me of legendary Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic who used to play his bass slung so low, it was almost as if he was scratching his shins when he played.
Each member of Vendettas played their part, the guitar and bass parts were tight, clean and executed well, as I said above, the drummer had obviously been hard at it for years as he was an animal on that kit.
Just before their set ended, Luke announced “This is where it all goes a bit berserk”, prior to launching into an incredible cover of The Who’s ‘My Generation’ which got the audience nicely warmed up for the main act of the evening.
For more information on Vendettas, please check out their social media channels at the end of the review.
So, onto the main event…..
How many all female bands can you think of, have a go….I thought of a few whilst waiting for them to kick off their set, L7, Warpaint, Spice Girls, okay, you can ignore the last band as despite bringing ‘Girl Power’ to the party, they did very little in the world of rock n’ roll and as they didn’t even pick up an instrument. I guess they weren’t really a band as such, more a group of awful singers with a good production crew behind them. The Franklys on the other hand ARE a bonafide all female rock n’ roll band who CAN play instruments and in the process, create a fury when they take to the stage amidst a flurry of hair, lip gloss and all out attitude.
Opening up with ‘Weasel’, the ladies stomped about the stage, playing their parts so well, Jen Ahlkvist’s vocals ranging from melodic tones to wailing banshee in a nanosecond. I was unsure what to expect from their live show, safe to say that it wasn’t this, this was awesome, real confidence and great stage presence led me to think that these 4 ladies should be performing at much larger venues to a lot more people.
The Franklys have balls, balls bigger than most bands I have seen of late and they think nothing of getting up on stage and strutting themselves silly until the foundations start to look like they’re going to collapse under the sheer weight of their sound.
Their latest single ‘Bad News’ which has been described as a thunderous piece of Sabbathesque Rock’n’Roll was released at the end of April and they rolled this out towards the end of their set to keep the pace as fast as it was when they took to the stage some 45 minutes before.
I felt honoured to be a part of the audience when they played in Plymouth, there may not have been hundreds there but despite this, we had a great night and I hope to see the ladies tearing up another venue in the near future.
A game of rounders on the green? I think the Franklys would rather play hardball with the big boys and would no doubt be scoring home runs in no time at all!
You can catch The Franklys on their current tour; full dates are available HERE
Some People Leave
What You Said
Puppet / Roadtrip Reality
We caught up with Jen from The Franklys earlier this year, you can read what we chatted about HERE
Review by Steve Muscutt
Photography by Bruce Benson www.241photography.co.uk