Live Review: Friendly Fires at Engine Shed, Lincoln. 22nd November 2011.

Friendly Fires.
Engine Shed, Lincoln.
22nd November 2011.

As the lights went down, the cheers started and Friendly Fires burst onto the stage with ‘Lovesick’ and ‘Jump In The Pool’ both taken from their self-titled debut album and sparked plenty of dancing and movement from the crowd. Their long set featured plenty of songs old and new which fitted well together from ‘Blue Cassette’ and ‘True Love’ from second album ‘Pala’ to old classics like ‘On Board’ and ‘In The Hospital’. The amount of energy the band throw into their live shows is amazing, from Jack Savidge’s drumming to guitarist Edd Gibson’s lack of being able to stand still for any length of time and of course lead singer Ed MacFarlane’s captivating to watch dancing skills. All this makes them a brilliant band to watch and backed up with their strong back catalogue they make for one of the best live bands around at the moment. Slower songs such as ‘Chimes’ and ‘Pala’ are still greeted with a good reaction from the crowd who probably appreciate a few moments rest before the dancing resumes. Current single ‘Hurting’ and ‘Live Those Days Tonight’ adds the feel of a 80’s disco to the night and by the time the band finish on ‘Paris’ the crowd are well and truly in the party spirit. The St Alban’s trio have saved the best for the encore though as when they return they play two of their biggest songs to date, ‘Hawaiian Air’ and ‘Kiss Of Life’. The former transporting you to the beaches of Hawaii and the latter a full on carnival party feel, the perfect way to end the night on an absolute high. Even though it’s cold and November, the feeling inside the Engine Shed tonight was one of summer and carefree partying and as Friendly Fires left the stage it’s fair to say that not only did they put on an amazing show but they certainly cheered everyone in the room up with their upbeat pop songs that it’s impossible not to dance along to.

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The gig was so good and the band were completely amazing, it was only the second time I’d seen them and it was really good to see them at one of their own gigs as I’ve seen them at a festival as well and they were awesome there. At their own gigs though, you obviously get more songs which means there are ones you wouldn’t hear in a shorter festival set. Pala and Chimes are two of my favourites and they were both brilliant live, Pala sounded even more epic live than on the album. SBTRKT were also amazing and I really enjoyed their set.

After the show, we waited around for a while and had booked our taxi to leave at midnight. About 20 minutes before our taxi was due to pick us up Ed came out and was talking to some fans and taking pictures and we were just waiting patiently until he had finished talking to them so we could ask for pictures, it got to midnight and our taxi was here and we’d resigned ourselves to the fact that we were not actually going to meet him but Ed ran over to us and apologised for not coming to speak to us sooner. We got photos with him and were talking to him for about 5 minutes and he was so lovely, thanking us for coming to the gig and apologising again. I left with a huge smile on my face because I’d finally met Ed MacFarlane and he is the nicest guy in a band that I have ever met. I’ll genuinely never forget that moment, I didn’t expect to meet him at that point but I did and it was amazing that he came to say hi and didn’t just let us leave without us meeting him. I have a huge respect for him and the band now though, even more respect than I already had for them. I’ve met a few bands and I’ve met members from smaller bands who have been total twats and just ignored us and I’m sure they would have just let us leave without saying hi but Friendly Fires are quite a big band now and yet they stay and meet all their fans and are so nice as well. I can’t say enough nice words about the band, that night made me so happy not just the gig but after as well, so thanks Friendly Fires for being so amazing!

Me and Ed.

Becky and Ed.

Me, Becky and Ed.

I also bought some merch while I was there mainly because I’d not bought any band merch in a while but also because I don’t own much Friendly Fires merch. I bought a t-shirt, a tote bag and a signed drum skin, the merch designs were all really nice and very reasonably priced. I mean £20 for a t-shirt is pretty good compared to like £30-£40 like what RHCP were charging. I genuinely could have bought more had I had more money and if I’d not had to lug it all back home from Lincoln to Sheffield via a night at Becky’s in Barnsley. Still here’s some pictures of my purchases:

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