Back in March last year, Fickle Friends, an indie-pop band from Brighton, played at Leeds’ Oporto bar, one of the smallest venues in the city. Just 18 months later, the five-piece have tonight sold out The Wardrobe, a venue four times the size of Oporto, and prove exactly why they deserve to be playing bigger and better stages.
As short cuts from a mixtape are played throughout the venue, the band take to the stage, which tonight is adorned with palm trees, bringing some much needed summer vibes to this autumnal night. Starting with their hit ‘Hello Hello’, the band instantly set the tone for the night; fun, lively and with lots of opportunities to boogie.
As they rattle through hits ‘Brooklyn’, ‘Sugar’ and ‘Cry Baby’, it is overwhelming how much energy the band give to their performance. As a group with five members, it wouldn’t be surprising if one person was not giving it their all, but song after song, all five of them give all the energy and enthusiasm they have. Props to lead guitarist Chris Hall whose ginger hair flicking and constant bouncing around does not go unnoticed.
Despite beginning to lose her voice, lead singer Natassja Shiner gives a great vocal performance, even if it is with the help of multiple gulps of water. Velvet, one of the band’s slowest songs, provides the opportunity for Shiner’s vocals to excel, particularly with the stripped back opening leaving her exposed. If it wasn’t for her proclaiming her illness, it would be almost impossible to hear that she is struggling with her voice, as she delivers the lead vocal line beautifully and leaves the audience admiring her abilities.
As the band lead off ready for their encore, the audience burst into the usual ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire’ chant, something of a ritual at numerous gigs in the county. Beginning the encore with their latest single ‘Hard To Be Myself’, it’s quickly obvious how much better the live version is than the studio one. Each individual instrument comes alive and the song is sonically brilliant. The energy on stage pours out into the audience, who clap, sing and jump along to yet another great song.
Showing off the perfect ingredients for a great pop song, Fickle Friends close with arguably their most popular song ‘Glue’. Despite being thirteen songs in to their sweaty set, the band give as much energy as always, jumping around the stage and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. It’s a pleasure to see everyone letting themselves go and simply having a hell of a lot of fun.
And if there’s one thing that Fickle Friends themselves know how to do, other than write brilliant pop songs, it’s how to have fun.