It's fitting that the explosive London outfit Infadels should start their set in a packed-to-the-ceiling Barfly with the forthcoming single "Love Like Semtex". The track's tight, repetitive groove, Matt Gooderson's fractured guitar and Bnann Watts's insistent vocals eerily recall "Love Like Anthrax" by the Gang Of Four. Indeed, their understanding of space and dynamics is nearly on a par with that of the Gang Of Four mainmen Andy Gill and Jon King and, like them, they even use the melodica to good effect. Throw in mid-period Talking Heads for good measure and you'll have a good idea of the infectious racket Infadels make.
Sporting black shirts and red ties in a striking combination reminiscent of the White Stripes - though Richie Vermin (electronics and percussion) has opted for a Kraftwerk-like black tie over a red shirt - the quintet look the part, too. Cocking his shaved head to one side while blinking and sticking his tongue out in a manner reminiscent of the late Ian Dury, the frontman Watts cuts a compelling figure while the other four make like Blockheads.
"Jagger '67", issued as a single last year and one of the highlights of We Are Not The Infadels, their debut album for the Wall Of Sound label, proves an early highlight. Sure, they're having an easy pop at the hairstyle and pout so favoured by Stones-wannabes like Oasis, the Charlatans and Kasabian, but the clubby lyrics, complete with ad-libbed references to the Barfly, work well in the sweaty environment. The ska swagger of "Topboy" brings out a few Suggs staggers from the frontman, while the bovver of suburbia lyrics wouldn't be out of place on Hard-Fi's Stars Of CCTV. The concluding "You're going down," chant might even become a terrace favourite and lingers long after the predictable "Reality TV".
Despite Watts's ebullient nature, Infadels can also do sensitive, and prove it with the hypnotic, shimmering "Girl That Speaks No Words", as well as the first half of the encore, a B-side called "One Of These Days". "You're so sexy, the lot of you," quips the frontman as fans make the floor bounce to "Murder That Sound", "Can't Get Enough" and "Give Yourself To Me". The drummer Alex Bruford, the spitting image of his father Bill (who played with Yes, King Crimson and Genesis), and the bassist Wag Marshall-Page drive the band on through "Brandon Beggars", and if Gooderson's guitar gets lost in the mix, the crowd don't care.Reuse content