Sometime Guillemot Fyfe Dangerfield performed songs from his new solo album Fly Yellow Moon at Q The Music Club Live at the Hard Rock Cafe on March 9, 2010.
An expectant crowd of competition winners filled the Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday, March 9 to see Fyfe Dangerfield becoming the first person to appear at two Q The Music Club gigs, having previously brought his band the Guillemots to play in 2008.
The Guillemots are still going, just on a break for now - though Fyfe's new solo album displays much of the same poppy, heartfelt sensibility fans will appreciate.
It was an excitable crowd as the genial Dangerfield took to the stage. From a few conversations we had in the crowd before he arrived, there were clearly a few hardcore Fyfe fans in the audience.
Opening with Livewire, a nicely picked tale of an evening/relationship reaching a critical point, the vulnerable but resolute and poignant refrain "Livewire, your life is in the fire, We've got everything to play for, 1-1, half-time" ringing out with a picking progression that echoes Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice, the relationship in this song has a more uncertain and open-ended outcome ahead though. A nicely understated opener, setting the tone for what was to come, not so much shock and awe as ebbing willingly into the flow.
Any thoughts of a one-man-band show were quickly dispelled as Dangerfield brought out his musical tools and trick for the night, namely two string players and a programmed box of tricks. The more up-tempo When You Walk In The Room was accompanied by an infectious programmed beat which, lifting the tempo and the mood with it's declaration "I'll love you endlessly, I'll love you endlessly" suggesting the earlier problems may have been overcome.
A song later and Fyfe questioned the audience, venturing "How are you doing, London?", to positive response - replying to a member of the audience putting the same question to him, he smiled and cheekily with a glint in his eye retorted "How long you got?"... but his relaxed on-stage demeanour suggested this was more playful than anything serious.
Clearly enjoying himself he started into Faster Than The Setting Sun, playing a pared down version with twangy guitar fills before telling the audience about his bizarre taxi ride to the gig, involving letting the cabbie use his bathroom, said cabbie finding out he was a musician and then playing him his homemade trance music all the way to the gig. A novel way to warm up perhaps.
The slow burning piano ballad Firebird was up next, a song "Written for a drunk night out", it's a suitably loping ballad performed with perfectly delivered hushed vocals. Then it was time for Fyfe's Bono moment, or to be more precise a cover, he'd re-learned from youtubes of himself online earlier in the day, "That was Bono-esque" he explained before starting into a cleverly executed and re-arranged version of Girls Aloud's Call The Shots. Putting his musical box of tricks and impressive arrangement abilities to good use, it was a novel take on an often played song, making it something ardent pop snobs would be hard pressed not to re-consider on the strength of this re-working.
Set closer, Any Direction saw the programmed beat make the Music Club about as dancey as it's been since Moby's visit, whilst it's not 1000 by any stretch, it does make you wonder what a rockier Guillemots record would sound like, not a bad thing perhaps, but then that's for them to decide when the self-effacing Mr Dangerfield's busy schedule of musical projects allows.
So Brand New for an encore was perhaps a fitting in between song to end on, and perhaps make us wonder what he'd bring back if ever for a third visit?
Our lucky competition winner won the opportunity to review the gig and interview the band. See below to see what they thought:
Hard Rock Café is dotted with rock memorabilia from legends past. The surroundings weren’t lost on Fyfe as he ambled on stage, points to a Mitch Mitchell drum kit and says, ‘if you wanted rock tonight, it’s up there’.
Granted, the set swung from achingly beautiful serenades to pounding keys more reminiscent of a jazz review, but Fyfe’s obvious talent did not see him out of place among the great names on the wall.
His stage presence and one liners held the deserved attention of the crowd, each happy to see an artist at the pinnacle of contemporary song writing.
- Alice Boyce, Q The Music Club Competition Winner.