Can You Gig It?: Flamboyant Bella @ Highbury Garage, London, 23.11.09

Can You Gig It?

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Only fourteen days into December, and here’s the first post of the month. It’s a gig review from November. Look, X Factor‘s been on, OK?

John-Scott Croly gamely went along to an all-ages show by emerging musical yoots Flamboyant Bella, where he felt like a bit of a phaedopile.

I nudged my mate. “Look, that singer well fancies me,” I said, pointing stageward. “Fuck off,” he replied, “she’s looking at me”. “Yeh, whatevs blud, look at your fucking beard!”…

Midway through the argument we realised we were stood right behind her dad and quickly agreed that it had in fact been he who was so deserving of her attention. At least we could only assume it was her dad: middle-aged and sensibly-dressed, right foot going like the clappers and mouthing ALL the words.

Then again, it was difficult to tell; there were plenty of dads in the audience – along with mums, big brothers and other assorted chaperones. Y’see, this was an under-18′s gig – a piece of information our humble editor neglected to furnish me with before I set off to the Highbury Garage. I almost left straight away, for fear of being put on some sort of register.

Flamboyant Bella are a teenage spunkpop quartet from somewhere called Hitchin (no, me either, but it sounds ghastly). They’ve been in their current incarnation since the old singer made the mistake of going on holiday when they had a gig booked. James (vocals, guitars, synths) met Flo (vocals, guitars, tight dresses) in a hairdressers’ and a week later they were gigging. The rest, as they say, is Geography.

Strangely, Little Miss Mini-Break wasn’t informed about her departure from the band until six months after she returned from her ill-advised jaunt. I like to imagine her wandering around Hitchin, going about her day-to-day life and wondering why no-one had texted her about rehearsal for ages, while the new line-up secretly played all the parties she wasn’t invited to and everyone else in the town laughed at her behind her back. But I digress…

If it hadn’t been for that fateful last minute trip to Thomas Cook, I wouldn’t be writing this now. Because, while the boys may write the songs and play the instruments and drive the van and run the website, they’d be nowhere were it not for Flo’s undeniable charm. Some of the songs have been around since James was at school, but one can’t imagine them delivered in quite the same way by anyone else.

Not much older than their target audience, Hertfordshire’s finest are able to speak to the kids (or ‘Flambo Fans’ as they like to be known) in their own language and on their own level. Hannah Montana it ain’t – morally dubious lyrics about illicit booze, fingering, herbal highs and gayclub toilets are lapped up gleefully by a crowd just happy to have finally found a band honest enough to ‘tell it like it is’ (man).

In this way Flamboyant Bella are a bit like that scene in Big where the kid trapped in Tom Hanks’ body tells all the suits at the toy company exactly why their toys are shit. Not that any of this crowd has ever seen that movie. Philistines.

Their tunes zip along infectiously on a bed of squelchy keys and wide-eyed bedroom production – Xenomania Juniors, if you will. Fan favourite and current single ‘Get a Reaction’ was the best song of the night, but get on their MySpace and check out ‘Absolutely Wankered’, ‘My Skies’ and ‘Touch’ as well.

I would urge you to do so pretty sharpish – it won’t be long before The Daily Mail gets hold of them. Go on, you’ll be able to boast to your friends about how you were into The Flambos long before the inevitable hate campaign and national headlines of ‘BAN THIS SICK FILTH’.

Check out Flamboyant Bella’s internet portal here

Buy Flamboyant Bella musics here

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