Friendly Fires + APRE @ O2 Institute, Birmingham, UK – 1st November 2019

Review and photography by Robert Barrett

A lot has changed in the 8 years since Friendly Fires last played Birmingham. When the band announced they were returning with new album ‘Inflorescent’, they owed the second city a long overdue visit.

Support act was APRE, their danceable indie kept the audience entertained. Although it has to be said that the DJ they had on before and after the support seemed more suited to the rave like atmosphere of what was about to come.

Ed looked at the crowd as if he had been reunited with an old friend. Two choice cuts from the new record set the mood, with ‘Heaven Let Me In’ causing the balcony seating area to get up and dance. “We’re sorry it’s taken so long” said Ed. The best form of apology was the songs, first album tune ‘Skeleton Boy’ with its punchy synth line more than made up for it.

It didn’t feel different from seeing the band all those years back. Ed’s dancing is still as entertaining, a big cheer would erupt from the crowd every time his hips started to shake. The biggest reception still came for the older songs, but I felt the new tracks such as ‘Love Like Waves’ were the most danceable of their career.

This gig was not a nostalgia fest, it shows a band that have picked straight back up on the creative journey they left behind all those years ago. It was a celebration of the past, and made everyone excited for the future direction of the band. Let’s hope it’s not another eight years before they visit Birmingham again.

Can’t Wait Forever
Heaven Let Me In
Running Away
Skeleton Boy
Hawaiian Air
Lack of Love
In the Hospital
Run the Wild Flowers
Jump in the Pool
Love Like Waves

Kiss of Life

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