18th October | SWX
Launching their biggest UK tour to date at SWX, Brighton’s Fickle Friends put on a show to remember. In a room full of young, loyal fans, it’s a blissful evening with plenty of summery vibes and singalongs. Singer Natassja combines a captivating stage presence with a flawless voice and makes some poignant comments about mental health awareness.
Since releasing their successful debut album back in March, the band have already followed this up with EP You Are Someone Else (Versions) and two new singles from a forthcoming EP which is expected to be released on their own new record label, Palmeira Music. Their top-notch string of pre-album singles and EPs earned them a solid following, and their dedicated fan base is evident at SWX, where the dance floor area is packed tight with fans looking to get as close as possible.
Support comes in the form of much-hyped Leeds youngsters, Marsicans, who fill the room with upbeat melodies and carefree energy, bringing to mind the likes of Circa Waves and The 1975. Their blend of harmonies and catchy hooks have earned them recognition from Radio One’s Huw Stephens, over a million plays on Spotify and appearances at some of the UK’s biggest festivals.
As the lights dim on the tropical-themed stage, Fickle Friends emerge to the sound of exotic jungle noises, almost drowned out by the raring-to-go crowd. They kick off with new album tune, ‘Bite’, which starts things off with a bang, before launching into two more from the new album. Heartfelt ‘Wake Me Up’ gets some passionate singalongs from the young crowd, before ‘Brooklyn’ adds some sassy California vibes. Striking frontwoman, Natassja Shiner lets her feelings be known to the crowd – the first show of a tour is always nerve-wracking but she feels like she’s with family here in Bristol – ‘It feels like yesterday we played at Thekla!’
After unleashing new song, ‘The Moment’, a change of tempo comes in the form of album track ‘Paris’, which is welcomed with sways and swoons from the crowd as Natassja’s outstanding voice is given centre stage. She follows this with a heart-warming speech about mental health awareness as an introduction to last year’s epic single, ‘Hard To Be Myself’. Slamming those who talk about mental health being ‘trendy’, she urges everyone not to listen to them, but to listen to this song instead. It’s refreshing to know that there’s something meaningful behind all the perfect pop songs, and it’s another reminder for the fans of why they’re such a great band to be following.
More blissful pop follows in the form of ‘Hello Hello’ and ‘Say No More’ – in between which, they stop to take sips from their novelty on-theme palm tree cups. The latter is one of the band’s first spectacular releases, and after this glorious singalong, they leave the stage to relentless cheering. For the encore, ‘SWIM’ goes down a storm, and it’s all topped off with ‘Glue’, a joyous affair that sees Natassja get in amongst the crowd, leaving the room still singing along.