Fickle Friends & Clean Cut Kid @ Oporto 8/3/16

The Liverpool-based quartet Clean Cut Kid combine jumpy indie pop rhythms with hints of folk and lo-fi, all garnished with dirty hooks, memorable harmonies and enriched by frontman Mike Hall’s remarkably soft voice. From the moment they entered the first chorus, they gave it all, with Mike and bassist Sal Godman bouncing along gleefully. Their performance saw the frontman teasing the crowd with buzzing riffs that led into the unreleased songs ‘Stay’ and ‘Make Believe’, the latter of which enticed the whole crowd to clap along to the outro. A notable mention was their latest single ‘Pick Me Up’, a propulsive love song that raised the spirits of even the most cynical in the audience.

Fickle Friends retro/synth-filled melodies were beautifully clean live and frontwoman Natassja Shiner didn’t miss a note as she delivered singles ‘Could Be Wrong’ and ‘Say No More’. Every member slotted into their place, with guitarist Paul Hall treating the crowd by launching into a charged solo at the end of ‘Velvet’. The quintet followed this with an electric performance of the unreleased track ‘Brooklyn’, which showcased a more soulful and vocal-heavy performance from Natassja. Even following technical issues and shoelaces spontaneously undoing, the band was able to deliver an extraordinary performance that consistently went one further. They moulded a sound that could be stadium-filling, but that remained rich and not overly saturated in the walls of Oporto.

Both acts delivered a stunning show and exhibit the charisma of quintessential summer bands. They are certainly well worth all the attention they receive.


Euan McDonnell

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