Electric Six – Limelight
November 28, 2011 Laura Caldwell 0 Comments
I feel no shame in admitting that I literally know about two Electric Six songs, probably the exact same Electric Six songs that most of you all know: Gay bar and Danger! High Voltage. But as a fan of eccentric, light-hearted disco I jumped at the chance to get my grubby little mitts on a last minute ticket to see them in Belfast at the Spring & Airbrake last Friday.
The night started out very well; myself and assorted family members managed to jump the queue by repeatedly asking for ‘Tony’ and making my brother hobble around precariously on crutches ( he does actually have a fractured leg, but this rouse worked so effortlessly that I vehemently recommend this method to everyone, if you can get your hands on a pair of crutches and the venue’s phone number). So by 8.20 or so (ten minutes before doors opened) not only we had secured ourselves a table, but we had first dibs at the empty bar and were effectively living the dream…
Local insaniacs, Mental Deficiency were up first and they tore through a 30 minute set which the crowd seemed to love every second of. They played the classics, culminating in everyone’s favourite ‘GHHGHB’; Mental Deficiency, promoting respect for women since the dawn of time. To be honest, 30 minutes wasn’t nearly enough, but with morph suits, pyjama bottoms, and top hats galore, Mental Def seemed to be the perfect accompaniment to the madness which is Electric Six.
Next up, the long awaited Swound!, four guys appeared on stage with an array of plaid shirts, Justin Bieber-esque sweepy fringes and classic indie nerd glasses (prescription or not, you decide). At first sight they really don’t look like the kind of band that should be touring (however briefly) with Electric Six, but I have to admit that they were good. Their music was catchy enough and being an impressionable teenage girl, I would definitely give their music a second listen, but the awkward pauses in which they attempted to converse with the audience left me feeling a little uncomfortable and wishing for it all to be over. Swound! you’re either going to love them or hate them, as you can probably already tell from their overly punctuated name… Personally, I didn’t really think that Swound! were the party starters that they should have been and would have put Mental Def on before E6 in order to kick things up a gear, but hey, each to their own.
Now onto the main event, Electric Six were definitely on fire! Mr Dick Valentine, frontman extraordinaire looked positively homeless; unbrushed hair, baggy ill-fitting suit, crazy wide eyes. This was honestly nothing like the debonair, coiffured, gyrating gentleman which I had expected. Well, as debonair and coiffured as ‘Gaybraham Linoln’ can be. My favourite aspect of Dick’s outfit however, was his super creepy latex gloves which he wore, yet never mentioned.
Now, I’m a fan of a band which engage with the audience, and E6 did not disappoint, from jokes about Ireland, to telling us that Van Morrison’s nephew was his drummer, Dick Valentine kept up a lively banter with the audience which seemed effortless. For someone who really didn’t know an awful lot of E6 songs, I thoroughly enjoyed their mammoth 15 song set and was even able to sing along to a fair few. Despite this, the best was yet to come as Mr Valentine announced that they “didn’t come all this way to play a 15 song set, they’d come all this way to play an 18 song set”, suffice to say, the final three songs were well received and everyone left feeling a little bit more camp than they had when the night began.