Friday, November 05, 2010

Foxy Shazam / Eureka Machines / The Mannequin Republic / Wiseacre @ The HMV Institute, Thursday 4th November 2010

Foxy Shazam - Oh Lord! from Jeremy E. Jackson on Vimeo.

Wow. What the hell was that? That, my friends, was Foxy Shazam. The most fun you can have at a gig without sneaking backstage and pressing fast forward on Cheryl Cole’s ‘backing’ tape.

First up though an honourable mention for the first three bands who kept the small but perfectly formed crowd entertained. Wiseacre gave us a masterclass in slacker grunge, The Mannequin Republic fused some QOTSA riffage with a bit of Chili Peppers / Manics on the side and tour support Eureka Machines borrowed The Hives stage gear for a hugely enjoyable powerpop punk superbrew. Bowling For Stew anyone?

On to the main event and some gigs are just bloody great fun from start to finish...and when Foxy frontman, Eric Nally, came on and delivered a moving mock eulogy to his dead step sister (you had to be was a sick way) I knew all would be well with the world (For the next 45 minutes at least). Our Eric’s clearly the product of a bizarre experiment to cross breed Freddie Mercury with Russel Mael (Sparks). I reckon he’s spent his entire adolescence practising his stage moves in his bedroom too. The guy rocks. I was particularly impressed with his mic move...letting the mic drop to the floor then hooking it with his ankle and kicking it back up again. That could go sooooo wrong...but it didn’t...much. When he wasn’t playing hacky sack with stage gear he was (literally) chucking himself all over the place like a man possessed, using every inch of the stage, then clambering over his band mates when he ran out of flat surfaces and leaping over the barrier to gambol across the dancefloor. No wonder he nearly poked his eye out recently (an injury that’s put the mockers on the band’s US tour). It’s not a just a one man band though. The rest of them are nuts too. Special mention must go to piano player, Sky White (who has one of the coolest beards on earth). He seemed determined to play his keyboard with every part of his anatomy (well...not that one...but I sure he would if he could), upside down too...with his legs spread in a most eye watering way.Ouch.

Hell, I’ve not mentioned the music yet have I? Well, it’s surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because I can’t imagine how they manage to sound so darn fine with all if that mayhem going on. There are strong hints of Queen and Sparks in there (plenty of catchy pop rock and falsetto voices), along with (for all you obscurists out there) a dash of Pop Levi and a smattering of Bobby Conn. Add a bit of trumpet and there’s a whole lot of rock n’ soul going on. Muso’s may scoff and critics might sniff that it’s all a bit tongue in cheek but bollocks to em'. For sheer entertainment value I defy anyone to top this lot. Cool as Foxy.

Axe / Dog & Kitten / Count Me Out / Oh Lord / Rocketeer / Bombs Away / Hybrid Moments / Unstoppable / Bye Bye / Killing It

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