A Fine Frenzy - Islington Academy London
A Fine Frenzy is the name US singer songwriter Alison Sudol performs under.
Backed by a couple of male friends performing on drums + bass and keyboards she brought her keyboard heavy ballads to London's Islington Academy to support US touring buddies Ben's Brother.
Although I believe she's played a couple of low key showcases before this was Sudol's first "proper" show in the Capital. I first came across A Fine Frenzy last year as someone posted their love for the band on a Rilo Kiley message board. I dipped into their album "One Cell in the Sea" but didn't stick with it as it didn't instantly win me over.
They showed up on my rader again a couple of weeks ago when I found their debut UK single "Come on come out" in the CD Times singles pile. The song impressed me enough to make it "Single of the week" so I investigated the album again, finding it more to my liking and making me eager for a live show.
There was a sizeable crowd squeezed in to the first few rows of Islington Academy with pockets of people spread throughout the rest of the venue. A Fine Frenzy started with current single "Come On Come Out", pulling further tracks from their album as the set continued.
I was in the photo pit for the first three songs, enjoying the music but hating the lights as they were completely camera unfriendly. I managed to snap a few shots when the stage lights were brought up between tracks but it was an uninspiring experience.
It didn't stop my enjoyment of the set though as I had already warmed to Alison's personality, as she smiled her way through the set behind her keyboards, sipping what looked like tea between songs. Sudol stood up, moving to a microphone stand for album closer "Borrowed Time", performing a cute bit of "Dad dancing" mid song!
Although the set remained fairly mid paced throughout there was a nice energy to the show with Alison coming a cross as a very engaging performer, holding the attention of the audience in the first few rows throughout as she battled with a slight wardrobe malfunction concerning her dress, trying to stay prim and proper as she insisted "It's not that kind of show"!
Once everything was decent we were rewarded with "The Minnow and the Trout" a song about fish, birds and insects and a gorgeous rendition of "Almost Lover", my favourite song of the night.
"Rangers" followed next. This was probably the liveliest song of the evening and as much as I liked the other tracks on offer felt the set could improve with a couple more uptempo songs. A Fine Frenzy finished their set with new song "What I Wouldn't Do", ending an extremely enjoyable performance.
Alison seemed slightly bemused throughout with the favourable reaction to their set and after pleading with us to buy the album when it appears in a couple of months left us all with a reflective comment of "Yes, this was fun!"
A Fine Frenzy release the album "One cell in the sea" in the UK in June so I'll hopefully have submerged myself in the tracks by then, enjoying them even more second time around...
Check out A Fine Frenzy over at My Space