The Mighty Fraff - Buffalo Bar

It really wouldn't be fair to give support act, Jamboree a full review based upon tonight's performance. Not that they weren't any good, far from it, but they're a two piece and seemed to have problems with the ancient equipment they were faced with. When your in a band that consists of guitar and drums and the guitar isn't behaving as it should, then you must shrug your shoulders and simply soldier on and soldier on they did. From this performance, they are a solid blues based combo blessed with a singer with particularly fine, distinctive vocals and could well be worth checking out. They're playing the Windmill (Brixton) on the 13th May, so, if you're inclined, you may check them out very soon. Very promising.

So, then, The Mighty Fraff and the first thing that strikes you is that this is a band who've been round the block a few times. Nothing wrong with that, especially when the second thing that strikes you is how much like a real band they look. There's something quite charming about a bunch of blokes, all of whom look like seasoned muso's, and who have gone to the trouble to actually dress up for the show. Now, there are two reasons why The Mighty Fraff are worth seeing. First, they have the coolest keyboard you will ever see. How cool is it? Why, its made of wood, that's how cool it is, and a keyboard made of wood is always worth seeing, no matter who it belongs to. And it has to be made of wood to withstand the abuse it gets from the keyboard player who thrashes it to within an inch of it's analogue life.

The second reason you should see them, given the chance, is the songs. That keyboard isn't there simply to be abused, no, it actually forms the backbone to most of the songs which results in The Mighty Fraff sounding like a sort of Doors based punk band, if you can imagine such a thing. It's old-time rock turned up to eleven and thrashed out with such enthusiasm you can’t help but warm to them from the off. OK, it's nothing spectacularly new, but the songs are extremely well written and this band is as tight as a very tight thing indeed. It's probably related to the fact that this is a band who have been about a bit, as aforementioned, but lets not knock it when it works, eh? Enthusiasm is contagious, and they certainly put a lot of effort into the show.

Highlights include a wonderful song about one of the original rock 'n' roll heroes Robin Hood which has a a great singalong chorus and has actions you can dance along to, if you so desire. It trundles along at a cracking pace, and, yes, our singer, Tom Fawcett, can actually sing; he possesses a fine, warm raaawk voice that holds the songs together rather well. Other highlights include a glorious stompalong called Fish Island and the encore Flame Proof Jacket. Their sound is probably achieved by the simple device of using very old equipment; it's like pub rock, if pub rock was played by people who meant it, which it never is. The Mighty Fraff might never progress beyond this level, but you get the impression they just don't care as long as their having a good time, and you can't really ask for more than that, and if you see them, you're pretty much guaranteed a good time as well.

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