Friendly Fires - Lovebox 2012 review

'Completely at home with being centre stage'

Photographer:Shirlaine Forrest

Howard Jones - 17 June 2012

Friendly Fires give a scintillating performance to close the Saturday night of Lovebox’s 10th anniversary celebrations and provide a set that looks sure to define the five piece from St. Albans as regular dance festival headliners.

The band emerge to the infectious carnival beat of self-titled debut album’s 'Lovesick' with the band’s front man Ed McFarlane needing little time to display his Mick Jagger snake hip moves. The band show no sign of respite, slickly moving into the epic 'Jump in the Pool' as the crowd get lost in the indie dancefloor melodrama of the song.

The set moves into the brilliantly catchy 'Running Away, a song with a chorus so infectious that even the most stone set of limbs cannot help moving and singing along too, without ever having heard the song before.

Friendly Fires look completely at home being centre stage as festival headliners, romping through their carnivalesque anthems, complete with saxophonist.

'Blue Cassette' defies the dramatic looking clouds hovering ominously over the skies to give a summer chorus that befits the setting sun before 'Chimes', with its oriental backdrop beats, also sounds fantastic as the light descends on the festival.

Indie dancefloor classics such as 'Skeleton Boy' and 'In the Hospital' give dedicated fans sing along moments before 'Pala’s' brilliantly melodramatic songs, 'Live Those Days Tonight' and 'Pull Me Back to Earth' capture the band's immediacy, infused with resonant moments.

They disappear off stage to a fitting ovation before the crowd chant for an encore and soon get their reward. The summer vibes are continued by 'Hawaiian Air' before rolling into the Rio party atmosphere of 'Kiss of Life', full of carnival drums and snake hip moves, enough to see off the clouds and inject a bit of that Hawaiian air into a cloudy London evening.


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