Electric 6 - 30/11/2016 @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham.
It's nearly December. So it's time for the yearly Electric Six Christmas Party. It's cold, it's wet, but we went in search of fun and chaos. Here's what we found.
Blank Parody started the night in a vein I was not expecting. Their brand of post-punk is reasonably easy to get into, with the clean vocals being punched by the occasional scream. They make a good effort to get the crowd moving, and by the time they leave the stage, they've earned a few more fans.
Captain Horizon follow them. Instantly, the character of the frontman takes you on another journey. He throws wristbands into the crowd and has them eating from his palm as if Captain Horizon were headlining. They play a brilliant set, like veterans - even when the security guard is given the microphone so the frontman can get back on stage.
We Are Z are the final support act before Electric 6 take the stage. Aesthetically, they look like Adam and The Ants reincarnate, with added heads dotted around the stage. Musically, they bounce across the spectrum, with throwbacks to the 80s, a little Spanish sounding song, and a touch of opera that instantly grabs your attention. They keep your attention from the first note, keeping it through singalongs and a couple of costume (headwear and the removal of a hi-vis jacket) changes, the whole time you're sucked into their show.
The finale. A "high voltage" trip to the "gay bar" that is an Electric 6 show. Well, you'd hope so. It's the first time I've seen Electric 6, and after a Saturday Night Live style intro, where every guest is Electric 6, the band enter the stage, and launch into "Song 1" which is "Electric Six". Next is "Song 2" and "Song 3", and so on... the highlight of the set follows the formal introduction of the man on the "electronical guitar... Wings of Desire". It's only "GAY BAR". The distinct riff whips everyone into a frenzy and the party you'd have initially imagined begins to take shape within an extremely short space of time. The band play through the first half, and stop for what seems like adoration. It comes, anyway, before "I've got something to put in you" sets them onto the next half of the song.
The mood dissipates after "Gay Bar" and doesn't really pick up until "High Voltage". Earlier in the set, Dick Valentine had already addressed this jokingly, that there were rumours that Electric 6 don't have it any more. To a degree, it seems to ring true. But it may have been a flat crowd that made it feel like that. Musically, they're tight and actually really good. But it's either that the band seem low-energetic or the supports didn't do their job well enough. You'd have to make your own mind up on that. I still enjoy the music, and I may even give them another chance next time they come around.
Words - Adam Reynolds
Pictures - Jack Kirby