In the wake of dancefloor-friendly and cutting-edge movements such as the post-punk revival and New Rave, it surely followed that a more populist version of nightclub indie would emerge. If ever there were standard-bearers for a new genre of guitar music that wouldn't seem out of place in either the superclubs of Ibiza or the Glastonbury mud, Infadels are that band.
The Hackney quintet are an odd mixture of the cheerfully ecstatic and the naggingly annoying, a kind of Madness for the dance-music generation. Their shaven-headed singer Bnann Watts is the main focal point for each side of this equation - furiously "doing the robot" until his black shirt clings to his back with sweat, he rouses the crowd in the intimate space.
While Watts's excited body-popping, high-fiving with the crowd and caressing of his microphone like a young Elvis is entertaining to watch, there's something almost too slick, too professional about him. Every so often he pulls out a showboating vocal part, holds a note for longer than is strictly seemly, and - bearing in mind he has written for flaccid sub-Coldplay crooners Kubb in the past - you get the impression he would probably give X-Factor a go were his own band not doing so well.
The occasionally overwhelming gloss of Watts's performance doesn't, however, overshadow the fact that the rest of his band act like gleeful schoolkids let loose in the music room. It seems being an Infadel is a dangerous business. Keyboard player and electronic percussionist Richie Vermin - who looks like a portly Russell Brand and plays like The Muppets' Animal - made his comeback from a dislocated joint at this gig, while bassist Wag Marshall-Page (a sometime accomplice of comedian Danny Wallace whose rock grimaces match those of Jack Black) spent the show seated so as not to aggravate his apparently broken ankle.
None of which is surprising given the sheer energy of their live show. Occasionally the music is less than original, a stew of frantic digital beats and clashing guitars that calls to mind the late Nineties rock-dance crossover outfit Lo Fidelity Allstars or a more house-influenced Kasabian. Their guitarist Matt Gooderson - almost as much of an affable show-off as Watts - accordingly borrows the odd lick from Hendrix with cheeky grace.
Yet when Infadels kick into something approaching the territory of a personal anthem, they click into a higher gear that is impossible to resist. "Can't Get Enough" is a metronomic dancefloor-filler, while "Topboy" is a piece of laddish, computerised funk that beats Hard-Fi at their own game.
The opening "Love Like Semtex" is probably Infadels at their peak, however, with a hard-to-resist hook, an insidious beat, and a typically over-the-top performance from Watts. It's easy to find fault with this band, but hard not to warm to them all the same.
The tour continues to the Barfly, Birmingham, tonight, and the Phoenix, Exeter, tomorrow ( www.infadels.co.uk)Reuse content