Tuesday, 22 April 2008


Alphabeat - Fantastic Six

A few Sundays ago i was slumped in front of the TV in an unusual mood, for some reason i flipped over from the Hollyoaks omnibus and found one of the music channels available on freeview, it was playing all of the videos for the top 40 songs in the charts. After having sat through my umpteenth dull, uninspiring, overproduced, mass marketed 'pop' song dreamt up by some 45-year-old-long-haired-media-male 'Fascination' by Alphabeat came on and single-handedly renewed my faith in pop music. I was going to post that track but i thought i'd go for one that some might not have heard before. 'Fantastic Six' was their single before 'Fascination' and possibly their first, it is yet more pop brilliance dressed up in the bright colours of the late 70's/early 80's to disguise it's incredibly dance-able nature.

Alphabeat played at Audio on Sunday night and i took my friend along because we both needed a bit of cheering up. Despite the lead singer having a sore throat they sounded incredible for a live band, as near to their polished-pop recorded sound as it is possible to get. They started the set with a version of 'Fantastic Six' really extending the intro to create a funky, bass guitar driven, dance tune that could easily have been a remix by optimo. Having only really heard the 2 tracks i've already mentioned, i thought they would be just a good-time pop band but during the set they described themselves as playing 'club music' and as the gig progressed it was clear that they definitely had as much dance in them as pop. Some of their songs were full of vocal harmonies but others contained tropical club rhythms, one even had a heavy grinding synth solo and they all contained impeccably timed climax choruses that made me tingle all over despite how grim i was feeling. To top it all off they got the 2 support bands to join them on stage for the en-core which was a cover of Daft Punk's Digital Love (you can hear it on Alphabeat's myspace). As i left the gig i was beaming from ear to ear and my legs ached from having subconciously bobbed up and down so much. This is going to be a great album when it comes out.

'Fantastic Six' should still be available on 10" vinyl (i got my copy from Rounder Records) it comes in a nice white sleeve that must be the nearest to the cardboard version of corduroy i have ever seen. It includes 2 remixes, the first is a laid back carnival-esque percussion led track with sparse but timely use of the chorus by Radioclit and the other is a more club orientated track with heavy distorted bass by Nightmoves.

1 comment:

Stevie said...

You subconciously bobbed up and down? Wow!