Black Kids/Friendly Fires/Ipso Facto Vice Tour: 93 Feet East, London, Friday, February 1
A package tour for scenesters? Good thing this one deserves the hype…
To look at Ipso Facto you’d think they were prime purveyors of dreary drones and colourless dirges. Not so. Monochrome but far from monotone, the chic gang of four have disco demons hidden up their Mary Quant sleeves. Opening with ‘Balderdash’, lead singer Rosalie morphs into The Long Blondes’ Kate Jackson had she lost her lyric sheet, her lingering vocals swooping over mini-Moe Tucker Victoria’s clattering, splattering drums. Referencing the all-new holy triumvirate of horror B-movies, The B-52’s and ’60s fashion house Biba, Ipso Facto let the occasional smirk flutter from their faces, proving that haunted house freak-beat can be just as much of a laugh as the all-out rave up of the next band, Friendly Fires.
Brandishing his cowbell like a weapon, Friendly Fires frontman Ed MacFarlane looks like Simon Amstell had he decided to quit sarky comment-making and taken up a career in scene-shaking funk. Despite their table of noisemaking kit, their electro insanity isn’t the freshest thing we’ve ever heard but, hell, if The Rapture and Hot Chip don’t mind being purloined all the way to hell and back during ‘On Board’, then we sure as hell don’t. The fact that the biggest cheer is reserved for ‘Your Love’ – their cover of Frankie Knuckles’ ’80s house smasher – proves that the old ones really are the best.
When mega-hyped Florida five-piece Black Kids finally take to the stage the audience is a sweaty, bedraggled mess. Perfect! “People say London doesn’t dance,” gasps a damp Reggie Youngblood after a raucous ‘Hit The Heartbreaks’. “Fuck those motherfuckers! I’ve seen London dance right now!” The ideal house party band, Black Kids look as chuffed to be here as the audience, who’ve been queuing around the block for tonight’s free shindig. If Reggie’s sister Ali and Dawn Watley’s gum-snapping double-handed backing vocals aren’t the goddamn cutest thing we’ve seen all evening we’ll eat our free goodie bags, including the Topshop tights. With the marathon soul ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’ and the perv-pop of ‘I Wanna Be Your Limousine’, Black Kids, with their song titles alone, will wrap 2008 round their little finger.