March 2nd | Fleece
It’s sweaty in here. It’s the fourth night of an almost entirely sold-out headline tour through the UK and Europe for Franc Moody. The Fleece is heaving, a crowd of excitable fans chanting out their lyrics whilst throwing shapes. The ecstasy in the room is palpable, delivered by a band whose debut album, at the time they grace The Fleece, is only a few days old. Considering the overwhelming response from the audience, all that talk about Franc Moody being a “next big thing” may well be true.
The night began with a more sombre, but no less grooving vibe. Support was provided by London three-piece, PVA, one of those bands with a foot planted in the past and the present, as influences from back then collide head-on with the self-aware meta-modernist composition styles of the now. Their songs felt like long, journeying pieces that didn’t set out to shock as much as they honed a single idea to perfection, slowly and one at a time, a methodical cruise towards danceable brilliance.
Some of the tracks felt like an 80s disco via Kraftwerk, the gaudy mixed into the atmospheric, whilst thundering double-time cymbals clashed in the background, staccato guitar reverbs in the empty spaces, and some brutish synths led the charge behind echo-ey vocal performances. The moments when all the elements sank into the same viral groove were mesmerising. One such moment featured some blinking acid electronic sounds, rising and falling over a pounding bass melody and a skittering drum beat that shook the room, before drones and increases in pitch caused everything to fall apart at the seams.
Franc Moody took over, making the crowd begin to sway immediately. The kinetic nature of their music was perfect live, as small parts of instrumentation jumped out of a wall of funk for a breath, before being swamped by the groove-consumed storm again. There wasn’t much empty space, always showing off something interesting, whether it was some esoteric electronic quirk, or harmonising vocals sounding like they were sampled from a long-forgotten 70s 12”.
Whilst a lot of what Franc Moody do isn’t ground breaking, what they do create is incredibly precise, a concentrated flow of dance mastery that is impossible to not vibe to whether it’s your thing or not. Most of their music is built from the same blocks: a couple of earworm motifs that can blast every so often, restless guitar work, some pounding and elastic bass, a kick drum the size of the room they’re in, and a bunch of unrelated elements that can appear once or twice to keep things interesting. And the crowd love it.
The second track the band played was the title track from their debut, ‘Dream In Colour’. As the video game music chirps began to sound, a chorus of cheers rose from the crowd, as a thundering kick drum, some incredibly emphatic vocal performances, and a wash of driving guitars caused a dance frenzy to overcome the room. This was only the second song of the night, but it was already clear Franc Moody had managed a difficult feat, to carve themselves a loving fan base before their career as a band had even really begun.
See the video for ‘Dream In Colour’ here: