Posts Tagged ‘Friendly Fires’

Ed Macfarlane is never one to restrain from the stage seizures that he calls dancing, but in these rare clips shot at Abbey Road Studios in London in late ’09, he simmers things down with “Skeleton Boy” and “Jump in the Pool” (though whips out some killer cowbell). 

The band JUST posted a new entry on their site, letting fans know that they’re busy working on their follow-up album, and also mention that they’re up for two Brit Awards: Best British Band, and Breakthrough Act. The Brit Awards will be handed out February 16th.  The Friendly Fires will not be in attendance this year, unfortunately, but they’re well deserving of both awards.



Wacky video, no concept, no idea or clue what’s going on – but Think About Life’s “Sixteen Candles” is a great mash-up of Bloc Party’s sound with a Friendly Fires presentation – sorta.  Hard to classify the electonic-disco sound, but might be because the video’s distracting me as I type this…


Nominations for the 2009 MTVu Woodies are out  – Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, La Roux, Phoenix, and even Ra Ra Riot get some credit this year.  The event tapes at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom on November 18th, but voting begins today (and runs through November 16th) at

The nominees for the 2009 “mtvU Woodie Awards” are:


Woodie of the Year – (Artist of the Year)

The artists who made the biggest splash on mtvU and the college music scene this past year.



Asher Roth (SRC/Universal Mowtown/Schoolboy)

Kings of Leon (RCA)

Drake (Universal Republic/Young Money)

MGMT (Columbia/Red Ink)

Silversun Pickups (Dangerbird Records)


The Breaking Woodie – (Best Emerging Artist)

mtvU is where new developing artists are test driven for the first time by the toughest critics around: college students.  One of this year’s newest artists will win the coveted “Breaking Woodie.”



Grizzly Bear (Warp Records)

Never Shout Never (Warner Bros./Loveway Records)

Wale (Allido/Interscope)

La Roux (Interscope/Cherytree)

Friendly Fires (XL Recordings)

Passion Pit (Columbia/Frenchkiss Records)


Left Field Woodie – (Most Original Artist)

They are genre-busters. They resist classification.  They came out of left field, and we are still not sure what section of the record store to find them.   



Amanda Blank (Downtown Records)

Janelle Monae (Bad Boy Records)

Major Lazer (Downtown Records)

Jay Reatard (Matador Records)

Tech N9ne (Strange Music Inc)



Best Video Woodie  – (Best Video of the Year) 

The music video that is so incredible, we would watch it even without the music.



Matt & Kim “Lessons Learned” (Cornerstone/Fader)

The Dead Weather “Treat Me Like Your Mother” (Warner Bros./Third Man)

Death Cab for Cutie “Grapevine Fires” (Atlantic)
Anjulie “Boom” (Hear Music)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Heads will Roll” (DGC/Interscope)

Kid Cudi “Day N Nite” (G.O.O.D Music/Fool’s Gold/Universal Motown)


Performing Woodie – (Best Tour) 

For those artists who take to the road and never let up, always giving that memorable live performance. 



Green Day (Reprise/Warner Bros.)

Phoenix (Glassnote)

3OH!3 (Atlantic/Photo Finish)

Animal Collective (Domino)

POS (Rhymesayers)


The Good Woodie – (Greatest Social Impact)

The award for the artist whose commitment to a social cause has effected the greatest change this year. 



John Legend (Columbia Records) – Show Me Campaign 

 John Legend founded the Show Me Campaign to help end poverty through sustainable development at the individual, family, and community levels.  His organization works closely with Millennium Promise and the people of Mbola, Tanzania to implement practical solutions to poverty including clean water, improved health care and education, higher-yielding agriculture, and internet connectivity.


Wyclef Jean (Columbia Records) – Yele Haiti

Wyclef Jean has been active in his support of his native country and created the foundation Yéle Haiti to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to Haiti. Yéle Haiti is a non-political organization intended to empower the people of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora to rebuild their nation.


Kenna (Interscope Records) – PlayPumps

Kenna began working closely with PlayPumps at the beginning of 2009 in an effort to bring 100 PlayPumps water systems to Africa. PlayPumps’ goal is to provide access to clean drinking water to ten million people. Kenna also started his own organization, called Summit on the Summit, with the intent to promote safe water drinking worldwide and to teach the importance of setting and attaining goals – physically and emotionally – by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and documenting his experience.


Jamie Tworkowski – To Write Love on Her Arms

Jamie Tworkowski founded To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and to invest directly into treatment and recovery.


Ra Ra Riot (Barsuk Records) – John Ryan Pike Memorial Foundation

When the band’s 23-year-old drummer, John Pike, passed away tragically, his family and the band formed the John Ryan Pike Memorial Foundation, to encourage and promote music and the performing arts. 


Alicia Keys (J Records) -Keep a Child Alive/AIDSactivism

Alicia Keys is a devoted AIDS activist and philanthropist. In 2003, she co-founded Keep a Child Alive (KCA), a people’s movement that provides life-saving AIDS medicine and surrounding care to children and families in Africa and India. KCA also provides support to AIDS orphans left behind to keep the most vulnerable children out of harms way.

From their forthcoming re-release of their debut album (date TBA), Friendly Fires, the Friendly Fires release a new video for the track “Kiss of Life”. Ed MacFarlane’s dance moves are better than ever.

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The Friendly Fires are returning to NYC for two shows in August.

8.12.09 (tickets here)

Le Poisson Rouge – West Village

8.13.09 (tickets here)

Music Hall Of Williamsburg – Brooklyn

My credit card is about to take another beating, despite the fact that I saw them twice in March – back to back shows…

Worth the price – they will blow your mind.


As Interpol continues to fade into the abyss and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah struggle to keep afloat, the British have stepped in – officially.  Exhibit A:  The two sold-out shows at the Bowery Ballroom on March 26th and March 27th with The White Lies and Friendly Fires.

Planted in the front row (for both shows like a crazy fan), the support from my behalf was for the Friendly Fires, having only heard a few tracks from the White Lies’ debut album, To Lose My Life.  As they opened the show, after a solid three minutes, it was clear why their album has earned the #1 spot on the charts for three weeks in the UK.  I’m now a huge fan.

The modern industrial sound takes you through a blend of emo for adults, not for the My Chemical generation.  It’s Interpol with a hint of Brandon Flowers glam-rock.  Harry McVeigh’s vocals are strong and rough around the edges – I would later find out that he was struggling with a throat infection which caused the band to cut the setlist by two songs…but McVeigh handled it like a pro – both nights.dsc001222dsc00152dsc00136dsc001561dsc001451


As McVeigh struggled through some of the songs that pushed the chords, the die-hards chimed in and sang “Let’s grow old together – and die at the same time!” (from their hit “To Lose My Life”), pretty much a reassurance to the band that they’ve got a chance to be the next Kings of Leon if they play their cards right.

At the after-party, the one good piece of information we managed to get from the band is that they are returning to New York in September – not officially announced – but Terminal 5 will be the venue.  Front and center.

Check them out, making their US debut, on the Late Show with Letterman:

Then, the Friendly Fires stepped in to close out the show.  The immediate reaction to lead singer Ed McFarlane’s moves are greeted with shock and laughter, before everyone realizes that his dancing is no joke.  It’s a British hipster’s take on “the Carlton”: on-stage gyrating to cowbells, drum solos and singing about moving to Paris, about still being sick in and out of love, and about reconnecting with that someone – and all done with a euro-pop-rock mix that would make Erasure and New Order jealous.

dsc000111dsc000281dsc000451dsc000511dsc000701dsc000761In the 50-minute set, the Friendly Fires gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen at the Bowery Ballroom – McFarlane even jumped into the crowd during “On Board” to bust his moves during Friday night’s show.  He was unlike any other frontman I’ve ever seen, quite possibly in need of Ritalin, and even making Brandon Flowers seem straight and straight-laced.  It’s a must-see.

The Friendly Fires, March 26/27 2009 Bowery Ballroom Setlist:
1.        Lovesick
2.        Jump in the Pool
3.        Skeleton Boy
4.        In the Hospital
5.        White Diamonds
6.        Strobe
7.        On Board
8.        Paris
9.        Ex Lover

Check out “On Board”- all acoustic and done for

Although the level of entertainment from both bands should never be compared (they are both too different), I will say that the White Lies are destined for US success.  Their sound can blend into mainstream, and McVeigh isn’t too outrageous, so the mid-West will find him a little more acceptable.  In my ideal world, the Friendly Fires will blow everyone’s socks off, but for now, just as content to be a part of the cult following.

Till next time.