Electric Boys – The Underworld, Camden – 27/11/2012
The Brits, Americans and Swedes. What a mash up eh? And the night proved to be just as fluctuating and unpredictable as a mound of that lovely fluffy, lumpy stuff.
The timings were shifted heavily towards Electric Boys giving them 75 minutes compared to 30 for all three supports, a little unfair to Adam Bomb in some respects who was third up. Bad Touch opened to a rather meagre crowd but gave it their best shot. They had energy and dynamism but just not yet that much to talk about. They’re still young though and with the live experience, and maybe a bit less commerciality, they could go much further.
King Lizard surprised me in that again, I found them better live than on their album. This time they completely sold title track Nightmare Livin’ The Dream from their latest offering, most of which the set list was from. Their ramped up introduction took a bit of a hit when the size of the stage meant they could only shuffle on as opposed to striding out to the backing track. At times, however, King Lizard seemed as if they’d been taking it too easy. With a wave of good reviews just before the release of album number 2, I’m wondering if the boys have taken their foot off the gas a little. The songs weren’t tight enough and the attitude fluctuated between amateur, can’t be bothered and wannabe-rockstar. They had the energy to whisk up a fairly small crowd and their rapport with their fellow Londoners is to be admired but I couldn’t help feeling let down. To end, they did a fantastic cover of Johnny Be Good before ruining it with a drawn-out incoherent ending that saw vocalist Flash disappear off stage before the final note while guitarist Niro Knox simply turned the amplifier off. At this moment the drummer Moyano El Buffalo was still waiting to finish off. They gave it a good shot but they’ve outdone themselves much better before.
Adam Bomb was rather less conventional. Feather boas twisted around his microphone stand and what was with the bright yellow lights around his amplifier and guitars? I know it’s nearly Christmas but….still, it brought an atmosphere to the show and that in turn brought the crowd. The main thing I liked about Bomb was that there was no messing about; he got on that stage and tore through half an hour’s worth of songs with barely ten words in between. The slight problem was that there were only ten words and at times I think the crowd were hungry for a little more interaction. But hey, the fireworks kept them happy. Yeah, you did read that right. The poor bassist had to cower near the drum-kit as sparks exploded from Bomb’s guitar in several songs, adding a whole new dimension. No, it didn’t take away from the fact that a lot of the songs were far too similar and monotonous and his solo, while illustrating his undeniable technical ability, didn’t exactly bridge that gap between him and the now much quieter crowd. He was a showman however and ended the show with grateful thanks and I’m sure, several new fans too.
You can’t beat a good funk band. And a good funk-rock band? That’s been around since 1988? Nah, you can’t beat them. Electric Boys couldn’t put a foot wrong, both in the eyes of the adoring crowd and in terms of their music. They knew that set-list down to the t. They had the tendency to drag out some of the endings and to dabble with weird and wonderful instrumentals part-way through songs before breaking back into the choruses with neck-breaking intensity. It was great to see such an experienced band still loving what they do and still doing it with courtesy and good humour, especially in their dealings with the crowd. Spanning their musical library with songs including Mary in the Mystery World, Bad Motherfunker, Father Popcorn’s Magic Oysters and of course, All Lips ‘N Hips they brought a fresh feeling of musical talent and raw energy to Camden. And you know, they don’t still look half bad either.