ELECTRIC SIX / WE-ARE-Z | LIVE REVIEW
The Scene Club, Swansea, Mon 5 Dec
Yes, they are still going! Detroit’s Electric Six finished up a 30-date tour with its second Welsh gig, visiting Swansea after playing Cardiff’s Globe the previous night. Support band We-Are-Z did much more than their purpose of warming the crowd up – indeed, it was overheard more than a few times that these guys stole the show. Serious musicians who don’t take themselves too seriously, this five-piece write, perform and produce their own material between their studios in London and Paris.
The stage was alight with pink sparkle and feather boas – turn your eye for a second, look back to the stage and the band have all donned Lion King masks. Frontman Gabriel is eccentric and striking, jumping from a gritty, roaring rock vocal to an almost choirboy-like falsetto. Energetic and versatile bassist and keyboard player Archie exudes experience, passion and skill. Interested in getting to know them? Look up tracks Goldigaz and Airbrush and go from there.
Reaching their height of success in the early 00s with tongue-in-cheek hits Danger! High Voltage and Gay Bar, Electric Six now have no less than 10 studio albums under their belt. They’ve continued to work hard and tour hard, spreading the word that music doesn’t always have to have a message – and even when it does, needn’t be dark and depressing. In the surreal surroundings of this venue, which almost resembles a derelict war bunker, when Electric Six bounce on stage it’s immediately apparent that these guys don’t take themselves too seriously.
Lead singer Dick Valentine is an old-school rough-and-ready rock star. It was quite obvious that many of the audience were there to hear the two main hits – both played early on, upping excitement levels – but that didn’t stop them lapping up all the others, with Valentine the consummate showman. Whatever your opinion on the music there’s no denying the entertainment value. An array of hits bounced from disco to punk to new wave and even a pinch of country rock.
Dance Commander, E6’s other hit (albeit not quite at the level of the aforementioned) is their well-chosen encore song, and the audience reached a climax of enthusiasm. This was a gig that was as much about the party atmosphere and audience rapport as the music.
words DENIECE CUSACK