Live at Brudenell Social Club on Sunday, 11th March 2012
Johnny Foreigner were tonight gracing the Brudenell stage following the release of their third studio album, Johnny Foreigner Vs. Everything. Their previous two albums have seen them grasp hold of a dedicated following, but with the NME dubbing this album as 'music for message-board moderators and the greasy-haired sycophants who hang around too long after gigs, and precisely no-one else', tonight JoFo had everything to prove.
I walked in at, arguably, the wrong point in the night as support band We Are The Physics were offering their clangy, psychotic science-inspired rock to the seemingly alarmed crowd. Don't get me wrong, my 15 year old self would probably have revelled in watching a band like this. But now matching ties, choreographed dance moves, gimmicky voice participation from all four band members and playing guitar with a shoe are somewhat wasted on me.
The gimmicks were unfortunately left on the stage for Johnny Foreigner to take as they kick off their set with 'Johnny Foreigner Vs You', with vocalists Alexei and Kelly hiding in the crowd and singing without microphones over the pre-recorded piano backing tape.
They then launched into their set with old cult favourite 'Champagne Girls I Have Known'. The half-packed Brudenell didn't seem at all phased by the new material played as they shouted every word back to the pop-rock trio, making any critics swallow their words. It's been a good few months since I last saw the band but the change in them is tangible as Kelly dances round the stage with a new-found confidence and their familiar feedback-laden songs are given a new life. It's also noticeable that there isn't really a transition between the second and the new album and it feels like they've never really grown up.
Playing 'Choose Yr Side and Shutup', 'I'll Choose My Side and Shut Up, Alright' and JoFo anthem 'Salt Peppa and Spinderella' without pausing, followed by a speedy encore of the amassing 'The Coast Was Always Clear' injects a final lease of life into the crowd. We Are The Physics join the stage to bring the night to a fittingly theatrical climax to a show that none of the 'greasy-haired sycophants' here, whether for the right reasons or not, will be forgetting for quite a while.