This week I went to see my friends' band, on the eve of their debut album launch. It was an industry graduation, with them playing inside legendary record shop, Rough Trade (west). I know they are my friends and I sound like a proud mum at parents evening, but this band is a teeny, weeny bit special.
They are called FAMY. Their debut album: We Fam Econo. Their Label: Transgressive Records.
It would be silly of me to place their sound into any given genre. My friend Bruce, the lead singer, admits the difficulty in doing such. However, what I can do, is call upon my reasonable grasp of the English language, to explore its effect upon me, and those around me on that momentous night in Notting Hill.
Bruce is 6 ft something tall. He's gangly and has floppy hair. Luca (Italian Born), is cleaner cut, though now sports a shaggy excuse for a beard. Arthur (Bruce's younger brother), has dark piercing looks and a fluid stage presence. Biscuit, the drummer, is cool.
Together, instruments in hand, they produce an eclectic orgasm of sound and energy. It's life affirming music; soft melodies with a strong core that flares into rock. Bruce sings, bellows, talks and most importantly: moves an audience. He also makes you laugh, never really taking himself too seriously, until he needs to: then you get the feeling each lyric derives from his solar plexus. Each word holds a very tangible connection to him.
'Ava' is undoubtedly the song of the album. It just has that smash hit sound whilst retaining a great storytelling element. An echo-like, primal chant courses through the song with aortic regularity. It is impossible not to get caught up with emotion when one hears it.
Those only recently familiar to FAMY will think: another band sprouting from thin air and producing a promising start. But this has been no overnight success. I've known Bruce for 13 years. I think the first time I saw him he had a guitar in his lap. He was more of a skater boy back then. In fact, FAMY is a derivative of all the bands I've known my friends to be involved with. They used to be Pinkus, Orangedrink Lemondrink, Drive and more. Heck, I even performed once with them, covering Oasis's Champagne Supernova. It was a disaster.
The question as to whether FAMY are mainstream enough, is key. Perhaps they aren't, but I have no doubt they will crossover and garner enormous amounts of fanfare. Why? Because their songs are truth. They aren't 3-minute collections of inane content, slotting nicely into formulaic pop derivatives. As long as FAMY continue to harness their unique sound, honest lyrics and positivity, the British public will be the first to topple in awe.
FAMY is my friend's band, and like a proud mother on parents evening, I think they are brilliant.