New York based quartet Five O’Clock Heroes rolled into the Mean Fiddler as their latest UK tour continued, where they played as special guests of the weekly Frog club night. “This is our 100th gig in the UK since February,” their tired looking singer Antony Ellis remarked a couple of songs in. “Trying to get you to like us I think,” he continued, with a wry grin on his face.
Indeed, it is true to say that this band are now esteemed veterans of the UK toilet circuit, seemingly having been to every dingy venue in the country on their current tour, which began back in late September.
It’s fair to say that success hasn’t come quite as quickly as they might have hoped, particularly in a musical climate where bands often get catapulted to stardom on the back of one catchy single, but they would be advised to stick with it – for with such a great cannon of pop songs under their belt, a steadily growing fan base and a debut album due out early next year, it shouldn’t be long before the rewards of their efforts become tangible.
Tonight they arrived on stage at quarter to one, and had the unenviable task of silencing a boozed up audience who were clearly up for a good time. It must be said they achieved this with certain panache – as they burst into the infectious and punchy Turn It Up, heads began turning towards the stage in abundance. After all, their brand of incisive, upbeat, new wave Jam meets Police rock ‘n’ roll is exactly the type of music to get a party started.
For the next half an hour or so, they overcame their obvious fatigue and commanded the attention of the crowd, running through their impressive catalogue of outrageously hook filled tracks with a great energy and enthusiasm.
Early single Run To Her was aired early on – complete with a driving riff, some impressive drumming, tempo changes and a chorus sharper than a surgeon’s knife, it’s a type of song that deserves to be heard by everyone. Forthcoming release White Girls sounded nothing short of monumental, here it was given an extra verve not seen on record and galvanised plenty of smiles and feet shuffling all round. That’s not to mention the second half of the set, which was equally filled with sing along friendly moments – Time On My Hands, Head Games and the fantastic In Control were all dispatched with a great gusto, almost certainly winning them a few new admirers within the audience.
It’s safe to say that every single song on display tonight could stand up effortlessly as a single, something that should stand them in good stead when they eventually enter the illustrious and ultra competitive albums market. They may be the most earth shattering band on the planet, nor are they revolutionising music, but the fact remains that they write great pop songs and are damn good fun live. And as far as this criteria goes, they’re up there with the best in the business.