Fila Brazillia Gig Review

Derby Old Institute 10/3/2002
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 01:28:51 +0000

I’ve just got in and I want to post this review whilst it’s all still fresh in my head.

Tonight, Fila Brazillia were *awesome.* They took to the quite small stage and the plangent opening tones of ‘Bumblehaun’ made everyone crowd to the front. I was a bit worried that the venue would be too reverby but actually the sound was clear and definitely bassy enough. ‘Bumblehaun’ rocked along, Matt Swindells’ live drums slotting in perfectly with Steve Cobby’s vocoder crooning and Man’s guitar (at least, I think he was playing guitar on that one, he swapped round a lot). They played most of ‘Jump Leads.’

It’s hard to describe the live sound FB have. It’s not like some dance/electronic bands I’ve seen where they merely play over pre-arranged backing tracks – it’s more organic than that. There’s a real feeling that the music/night could end up anywhere, something that sadly a lot of electronic-based music lacks live. So they’re not your trad ‘dance-band-goes-live’ but neither are they that terrible behemoth: rock band gets funky. What they are is something different, just the same as their records.

‘Motown Coppers’ stomped in even more rocky than the Jump Leads version, sounding more samba and less Yello live. Very tight and very aggressive in that ‘Here Comes Pissy Willy’ way.

Steve Edwards came on stage and sang his heart out. Bear in mind that the Old Institute has got quite a large balcony area, which a lesser singer would be intimidated by or unable to connect with. Steve, however, sang to everyone in the place, wherever they were. Also cool was his mcee-ing which got even a Derby audience (notorious for our… apathy) jigging along. Hell, he even got us clapping along, which is a riot by Derby standards. I’d even go so far to say that his vocals sounded better live than on the album, which is no insult to FB’s recording ability but more that I think the guy’s a born performer. He certainly rose to the challenge tonight and met it easily. Very funky moves, too.

All to soon, they’re saying goodbye but we managed to get an encore and they chose the lovely ‘Green Green Grass of Homegrown.’ Matt swapped onto synth and Steve and Man almost drawled the country guitar chords. Steve Edwards’ singing on this was absolute mastery. Beautifully soulful, sad and yearning. A real torch song of a closer.

This was one of the best gigs I’ve seen in *years.* If you get the chance to see FB at their coming Shepherd’s Bush Empire gig (they’re also playing Sheffield and Manchester) please do. Sorry if this review is a bit scrappy but I’m knackered and want to bash it out before tomorrow. I can’t genre-box them to sell them to you cos they don’t fit into any one genre, especially live. All I can say is that they rocked the crowd tonight and left us all happy and humming,

love and kisses,