LIVE REVIEW: Fozy Shazam, Night & Day (Manchester), 1.11.2010

It was a cold August night that I left my warm fireplace to go into the darkness of Manchester City Centre and see a band that I was utterly convinced I would be able only to muster a moderate opinion on. Foxy Shazam have just left the country on what was a very short, provincial city packed, UK tour. Their latest self titled album is third in line since the bands creation six years ago, and it is this that the band have been taking on the road.

Having just watched  a ‘rock’ band comprised of four 16 year old’s as support, I was more than happy for the proper show to get started and when it did, I couldn’t have been more surprised. Lead singer Eric Nally came on stage in a storm of arrogance and joy. From the very first moment, he and the rest of his band never stopped climbing, kicking, throwing themselves around the stage in pure, organic ecstasy. I had thought the days of don’t-give-a-shit-American-rock-stars had really gone, but there, in front of me on stage in Night and Day Cafe was a man chewing lit cigarettes whilst hanging upside down from a swinging lightrail.

What was most entertaining about the band was that although their tunes are loud, brashy and in your face, each and every one of them has an identifiable rhythm even rock novice’s can get their ears around. Personal favourites from the night were “A Dangerous Man” which Nally had claimed to have written with Alanis Morrisette going at ninety miles per hour in the back of a pick-up truck and “Bye Bye Symphony”, which he claimed to have written when stuck in the bottom of a dirty laundry basket for four hours when he was five years old. But of course what really got the audience going were most recent release “Oh Lord” and tune of the album “Unstoppable”.

The fact that this gig was the first leg of the UK tour showed in the performance as each band member were on form and really went all out to impress, or in some cases distress, every audience member. And it worked. Playing keyboard with an upturned bench is going to keep anyone interested, especially so if you play it well. As well as that, there was a lot of engaging with the audience which I thought was pretty perfect, even if the anecdotes were completely bizarre and out of nowhere. The style these guys have adopted ranges from the bizarre to the sublime. It is old school thrash metal meets heavy rock meets Queen meets Van Morrison.

So you see then, dear reader, that it utterly essential for you to fly to America and catch their next show in Boston. Failing that you could wait until they’re back over here, which I’m sure won’t be too long away, and catch them then. In the meantime I implore you to at least check out their MySpace for if ever a band had a reason to be arrogant, it’s this one.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Hugh Hamill

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