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.