Frankie and the Heartstrings, 100 Club, London
Monday 07 June 2010
Frankie and the Heartstrings entered 2010 so hotly tipped, it's a wonder their quiffs aren't singed. In their first headline London gig, they show what all the fuss has been about.
But while the band from Sunderland blaze onstage, they fail to fully ignite the audience till near the end of the set.
Their vocalist, Frankie Francis, is a natural frontman. He's got the swagger and the voice, which slips between dulcet tones, emotion-soaked yelps and punkish shouting with disconcerting ease. His moves are pretty distinctive too – all camply cultured, limp-wristedly flopping his microphone around and swooning against its stand while singing about "Tender Is the Night", or frowning earnestly while hopping round in circles.
Their set is short but sharp (they've only released one EP), and there's a vigour here that's lacking from most guys/guitars/tight jeans combos that have turned indie into the blandest genre going in recent years.
"Obvious" sports dancefloor-filling beats and the urgent guitar and vocals of a Kings of Leon single. "Ungrateful" is introduced by Francis as his favourite song, along with "The Power of Love", that one which soundtracked Back to the Future. "Ungrateful" might not be quite as 1980s-tastic as that, but you can certainly hear the influence of that decade; the open sounding, jangle guitar here is pure Johnny Marr.
The single "Hunger" is well received and rightly so; its tasty hooks make it an instantly memorable track. "Well it's about time that we made a stand, and started playing together in our own band," sings Francis, and the track catches a youthful, playing-in-the-garage exuberance.
Their last track, "Fragile", showcases just how sweet Francis's vocals can be before descending into feedback madness for a big finish. The band dash off stage. There's no chance of an encore – presumably they've played all their material – but something tells me we'll be seeing more of them soon.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
newsThat most ancient of crimes is on the rise, threatening farmers' livelihoods, community trust – and human health
food + drink
sportIf you thought the London Olympics and Wiggins' Tour glory made last year best, don't forget Murray's Wimbledon win and Farah's double
Arts & Ents blogs
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
Justin Bieber isn't retiring from music after all: Pop star says he was 'messing around'
American Hustle, review: 'Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant as the neurotic housewife'
Is Bilbo Baggins a girl?
Justin Bieber's mishaps and controversies
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 27 animals died during filming of Hollywood blockbuster The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, says report
- 4 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 5 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- < Previous
- Next >