Photography & Review: Glenn Rossington.
On the day they release their second album ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’, Fickle Friends arrive in Birmingham on the second night of their current UK Tour.
The night begins with The White Lakes opening up for a short set of high velocity pop that delights the early concert goers and removes the chill from the arctic temperature outside. Next up are Valeras who are fitting enough to have their own headline set. As the venue fills up, the atmosphere becomes electric and give the band a well deserved send off.
Arriving on stage 15 minutes past the scheduled start time, Fickle Friends arrive and launch straight in to ‘IRL’ from the new album. The show that follows is expertly delivered and sees a great union between the band and fans. Lead by Natassja Shiner on vocals, Harry Herrington, Sam Morris and Jack Wilson, the band delight in bringing in cuts from the new album, their debut ‘You Are Someone Else’ and a track from their lockdown release ‘Weird Years (Season 2)’.
The set is flawless. High in energy, expert sass and complete adoration for their fans. The newer material sits comfortably intertwined with older tracks. “We started this tour last night and I was confident, but tonight I am more nervous. But I think you are going to lift the roof tonight Birmingham!” declares Natassja mid way through the set. And boy was she correct. There may have been no nerves visible, but by the end of the set there is no one left disappointed.
From the new album; ‘Love You To Death’, ‘Not Okay’, ‘Pretty Great’, ‘Write Me A Song’, ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ and the glorious tender title track ‘Are We Gonna To Be Alright?’ showcase how strong the record is and how much they have developed as an act over the last few years. The confidence oozes from the stage as Natassja prowls around the stage, even reaching out to a fan on someones’ shoulders mid way through a song.
We get the third “rock segment” of the night in the form of ‘Not In The Mood’ from last years’ release ‘Weird Years (Season 2)’ which Natassja declares as her “favourite rock segment”. Older tracks on show tonight are; ‘Brooklyn’, ‘Glue’, ‘Hard To Be Myself’, ‘Hello Hello’, ‘Say No More’ and 2014’s debut single ‘Swim’.
Every song tonight is greeted with sheer joy from the excitable crowd. The new songs have already been learned word for word by the dedicated audience members and can be seen shouting them back to the band in complete unison.
‘Pretty Great’ closes the set tonight. Before it, Natassja declares that it is “great to be back on tour and in Birmingham as it holds a special place with members of the band”, which in return is greeted by a huge cheer from the packed room. As chants for “one more song” ring out around the room, the main lights go on signifying no encore. A perfect end to tonights’ set, no whistles, no overt showmanship. Just pure enjoyment, and a rowdy escape to take our minds off the news.
‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ is out now. The band remain on tour across the UK for a couple more weeks, so if you can, get out and see them ahead of festival appearances. Fickle Friends are certainly making a name for themselves and should increase their fan base, based on both the excellent new record and pristine performances like tonight.