Friendly Fires

EVERYBODY LOVES FRIENDLY FIRES.

Words by


Emily Hill

IN THEIR SHORT LIFE, FRIENDLY FIRES HAVE

ALREADY BEEN CALLED EVERY NAME UNDER

THE SUN. LUCKILY FOR THEM, ALL THIS NAME?

CALLING HAS SHONE DOWN ON THEM FROM

THAT BENEVOLENT PSYCHIC PLANE ON WHICH

A SUMMER RAVER PRANCES WITH AN ECSTATIC

GRIN. EVERYBODY LOVES FRIENDLY FIRES. LETíS

ALL LEAK SWEAT AND HUG NOW. LETíS LEAK

SWEAT AND HUG AGAIN.

So far the band have been dubbed a ëRapture?ish disco implosioní or ëHot Chip without the existential angstí, they are the Friendly Fires of the ëdeadly fumesí (they nuke their crowds with dry ice before blinding them with strobes and drowning them in confetti), they are ëthe hottest band in new indieí, the purveyors of the finest funk?punk known to modern music ?and they havenít even released an album. Yet. Friendly Fires are working on that but first they want to work out how to meld some of their new fashion smarts into their stage act. ìClash had us down at the Russian bar, playing a bit of dress up,î explained drummer Jack Savidge. ìIt was a seedy little venue, and there we were at 5pm strutting our stuff to a load of cool house.î Fires frontman, Ed Mac explained. ìI really like the idea of having a proper costume on stage. I think people like Bjork and Jamie Lidell who wear all their outfits on stage are great and I wish we could do that theatricalityÖ do sets sort of Flaming Lips style.î

Ed Mac, Jack Savidge and Edd Gibson met at school in rural St Albans, ìthe town no oneís heard ofî. A bored existence only enlivened by band rehearsals and squalid gigs in down and dirty London, until suddenly, late last year, it all took off. The band gallop through musical influences ñ ìAmerican indie and pop and mass rock, house, funk, rediscovering Michael Jackson, RëníB, a load of soulful thingsî ñ fusing them together to form their current output. As for their distinctive name, (which replaced their former moniker First Day Back ñ possibly the worst name ever? At the time, ìwe were the worst band everî), it wasnít any sort of Iraq clad, war reference

ñ although apparently their listening figures do shoot up when thereís a friendly fire incident in the news.

This summer they caned the festival circuit, pelting it down the motorways in a bus driven by jailbait: ìOur driver was stopped on the way back from the Vice fest,î Savidge explained, ìas the policeman thought she was too young to drive a van.î In all the hype, Friendly Fires may have been accused of giving on?its?last?legs nu?rave the kiss of life, but as they point out: ìThatís a bit silly. I donít really want to be associated with something thatís on the way out. When Seany was evicted from the Big Brother House it was the end of nu?rave.î

Seany and nu?rave may have skipped hand?in?hand into the sunset, but for the St Albans three?piece a smooth ride to stardom awaits ?Friendly Fires are here to stay.

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