Live Review: Frankie & The Heartstrings @ The Louisiana, Bristol 16/04/10

Live Review: Frankie & The Heartstrings @ The Louisiana, Bristol 16/04/10

First off, it’s nearing the end of April, so I should probably wish you – the internet at large – a happy new year. Happy new year, how was the first third of it? Yes, it’s been that long already. And you’re still fat.

I was fortunate enough to catch Frankie & The Heartstrings last Friday. Well, I say ‘fortunate’, I tracked down their PR, told her that I loved this band in particular, and she duly pointed out that they were appearing in Bristol the following evening – a fact I was well aware of… I harbour a manipulative genius of Machiavellian proportions.

When we arrived the sound-man was looking at his board with confusion and the support band were standing languidly at the bar, by the time they had got the problems fixed and hit the stage, things were running about 30/45 minutes late. Fitness Club Fiasco (the aforementioned languid standers), were fairly splendid. They make a nice electro-twee-pop in the vein of Tilly and the Wall and all those groups that sprung up about four years ago. They did it well and they had a big crowd and they seemed super-confident, if already a bit dated.

By the time they were finished and Frankie finally made it to the stage, the room was inexplicably half-empty. Apparently, ‘the next big thing’ is no longer ‘the next big thing’, now it’s some kind of ludicrously ‘small thing’.

Frankie & The Heartstrings were fantastic, it took a while for the audience to warm up and for a while it was just me – the twat in the middle of the room – and charismatic frontman Frankie bopping our heads. Personally, I didn’t understand how any could fail to be turned on, his eyes were wide, his expressions desperate and his songs (‘Fragile‘, ‘Tender‘, ‘Possibilities‘, ‘Hunger‘ – that I can remember) brilliantly crafted. Yeah they’re kind of like Orange Juice, but they’ve also got that foil-packed freshness found in Motown soul and that Northern wit found in (some of) The Smiths.

Thanks to the tardy support I had to cut out early to catch my train, which felt like I was skipping out on an early ‘Pistols gig and missing something special. Still there’s always the next shows, when they’re bored and less communicative and generally ‘on the up’, to look forward to.

Following the gig, Frankie & The Heartstrings signed to Wichita for a three album deal. I sent them a tweet. They didn’t reply.

P-fucking-S. On my annoyingly-early mid-gig exit, guess who I saw chilling downstairs with half of audience? The shitting support band. Who the fuck doesn’t watch the band that’s driven across half the country, and asked you – in your hometown – to support a show that’s going to have every iPhone-tapping industry knob (me included) in the area attending? Twats. That’s who.

Frankie And The Heartstrings live review


3 responses to “Live Review: Frankie & The Heartstrings @ The Louisiana, Bristol 16/04/10

  1. hey man,
    i guess because you’re a blogger you’ve assumed that you can label people in the same way you do music. i might’ve been downstairs talking to a few people for the first part of the set, but i went back up to catch the second half of the set and i really enjoyed it. i know it’s important and respectful to watch the bands you’re playing with. it’s also important to talk to people that have driven from london to watch you; the people who are releasing your music. so, maybe think before you blog away behind the veil anonymity. i sure hope you don’t make shallow assumptions about people in your own day to day life. people read your blog to get opinions on music, not on other people who you really don’t know. on the flip side, i do understand your angst concerning the flock of people that left after we played. if you go to a show, you should stay till the end. who eats a starter and skips the main?

    keep up the blogging. leave shallow commentary to the narrow minded tabloids.


    ps. thanks for the nice review.

    • Four people have viewed this post so far. Four people. One of which was the frontman of the aforementioned “shitting support band” Fitness Club Fiasco (who, as I said, were pretty good). This post is a response to his own comment.

      Hi Mike,

      I put my hands up and will take on board the criticism regarding my dismissive “labeling of people” – fair point, well made. Sorry for that.

      You had a good reason to be downstairs – not that you should have to justify it – but at the time it looked bad and I was pissed off because somewhere along the line I decided to live in Bath. And apparently trains fear Bath after nightfall. I imagine neither of these things are your fault.

      On the other hand, I don’t exactly “hide behind the veil of anonymity” (an assumption on your part). The first post you see when you come to my page has a (not entirely flattering) picture of me and my name – Matt Parker. Which I reckon is probably more than most bloggers supply.

      In addition, my ‘About’ page has my personal email address and twitter link, it’s not a one-way flow and I have had other artists get in touch about reviews good and bad and I am always happy to justify my reasoning. In this case I misread the situation.

      Either way, hello Mike, pleased to meet you, sorry if I offended you and congratulations on the release.

  2. hey matt, no worries. thanks for the response and sorry if i was a little snappy there. ive been supply teaching shit disturbers all week hah. anyways, continue up the blogging and maybe we’ll cross paths in the future in the bristol/bath world.


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