Thursday, 28 January 2010

613 HOT HOT HEAT, Franz Ferdinand, Fiery Furnaces, Bristol University Anson Rooms, Monday 27 October 2003

We gratefully exploited another opportunity to see Vancouver's rising stars, bopping down the M4/M32 beat route to Bristol early doors with friends! Queued up on arrival at 20 to 8, which luckily didn't hold us up too long on our way to the bar!

Popped into the hall to check out openers Fiery Furnaces. An oddball mix of quirky New Wave, Stereolab-like metronomic-ness (metronomy?) and 80's German keyboard pop (?), and fronted by a female resembling a young Patti Smith, I warmed to them despite myself. I quite liked their number which included the lyrics, "when I was single my pockets did jingle." Rach hated them! Stayed put for the entrance of Franz Ferdinand at 9; "We are the new Scottish Gentry," proclaims one of their numbers and if so, then they've got some pretty big boots to fill (The Skids, Scars, Associates, Close Lobsters for 4, just off the top of my head). Once again, however, they showed potential for the job with a more confident and coherent set than before, whilst retaining the intriguing jerky New Wave influences of yore. With a sound reminiscent of XTC's second album "Go 2", they're developing nicely into a name to watch, and may well merit their "New Scottish Gentry" tag before too long.

Moved to a good vantage point stage left for the entrance of Hot Hot Heat at 10. Again, all black-clad and tousled, they kicked off their set in an energetic, kinetic way with the edgy "Talk To Me, Dance With Me". It took a couple of numbers for the sound to bed in, but by the excellent "No Not Now", they were on it. Again the set was upbeat, bright, catchy, danceable and sing-along pop from a very talented bunch of kids destined for bigger and better things, played with verve and enthusiasm. "More For Show", which recalled The Smiths' "This Charming Man", was a mid-set highlight, but once again they saved the best for last - the final encore "Bandages" brought the house down and brought an end to another ridiculously fun set from Hot Hot Heat. More fun than a barrel-load of monkeys, and performing the welcome task of bringing XTC-influenced pop to a new generation, Hot Hot Heat are hot hot hot, and they're going to be huge huge huge!

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