Imagine Prince’s take on hedonistic beats fronted by a lead singer who performed his own body popping. Providing the grooves with a generous helping of samples to The NME Shockwaves Tour tonight are Friendly Fires. Offsetting the traditional guitar acts preceding them brilliantly, their set adds some much needed glamour to the evening‘s proceedings. You can almost sense the relief amidst a crowd who have been yearning for an act to move to, to transport them to fantastical places. Thankfully, the band only seem too willing to oblige. 'Skeleton Boy' almost begs you to wonder what might have transpired if The Happy Mondays were fronted by a singer with such soaring vocals like Ed MacFarlane. His moves, as if reacting to every groove produced behind him, would leave Bez looking shamefully redundant.
Providing more than mere visual entertainment, their sound deviates between Klaxons-esque balminess and 80’s funk. Taking clear influences from The Rapture for intoxicating, electro-fuelled breakdowns, if you were to close your eyes it could well be the New York four-piece hammering the cowbell during 'On Board'. From the beach calypso of 'Lovesick' to the throbbing synths throughout 'Jump In The Pool', their enthralling set ushers that wonderful joie de vivre of wondering just where their sound is heading to next.