Foxygen: Electric Ballroom

Review | California’s rock duo returns to London for cosmic psychedelia …And Star Power performance.

Niall McAuliffe

Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado and Sam France
Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado and Sam France

Camden’s Electric Ballroom was host to an exhilarating, physical and stylistic performance by Foxygen, the alt-indie Californian band formed by Jonathan Rado and Sam France. Frontman France had all the moves and swagger from the rock n’ roll stage book, Iggy-esque bare chest to David Lee Roth leaps and Jarvis Cocker ass-wiggling. Complimented by the group’s three go-go dancers-singers and five-piece band, the show was full of theatrics including a mock jousting fight between the two guitarists and France climbing the stage equipment.

Foxygen, Liverpool KazimierAt times almost like Jim Sharman’s 1975 cult musical Rocky Horror Picture Show, the band’s baroque style falsetto swept away their custom changes during which a scratchy recording of “Shuggie” from their second album We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic was playing from the sound engineer decks. Yet the music grooves, the band is rigid and the backing vocals were a perfect fit. However, translating the sound live lacks the production quality of their studio recordings and perhaps the elaborate stage performance tries to compensate this. With shades of Ariel Pink wackiness and fusing many genres together, they certainly have a part to play in the Californian alt-indie scene. As performance goes, it is a watch with a lot of style but it requires more substance.

Foxygen’s third album …And Star Power was released in October 2014 and follows a loose concept around the fictional band Star Power.

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