Foxy Shazam/The Guns - Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach - 2nd November 2010 Print E-mail
Written by Gaz E   
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 05:00



Twenty one short hours after leaving Cardiff's Clwb Ifor Bach with raised eyebrows after witnessing Spencer Pollard of Trash Talk kicking kids full in the head for the crime of paying to see his band, I'm back at the same venue and, again, my curious look makes an appearance, this time when I find out that the creators of one of the year's finest albums have been wedged into the venue's downstairs, stage-lessfoxy1 bar while a slew of local bands wearing their guitars like ukuleles share fashion tips in the main room.....


.....but that feeling doesn't last very long as The Guns take to the ...err...floor at the exact moment that I enter the room and proceed to tear that room a new arsehole. A band local to myself yet whose path I never seem to be able to cross, The Guns take around two songs to win over every person in the room with their combination of instantly likeable frontman, female powder keg of a drummer and a cadre of ass-kicking tunes that again prove that some of the most essential music being produced in the UK at this time comes from the wrong side of the Severn Bridge. The only time I manage to take my eyes off the band during this superior support slot is to watch Foxy Shazam vocalist Eric Sean Nally buy one of their tasty baseball shirts from the merch table, noticing that it would look just dandy with his skinny red jeans....


When Nally is already throwing the Steven Tyler-esque mic stand moves around wfoxy2hen Foxy Shazam toss out a minimal soundcheck, I just know that things are gonna be special. The band practically erupt into life with opener 'The Only Way To My Heart...', taken from this year's essential self-titled album, and, while there is so much to take in as every member is full-on going for it, it is virtually impossible to take your eyes off Nally as he collapses in a heap, forward rolls, handstands, scurries around on all fours, throws setlist paper aeroplanes, smashes the microphone into his mouth and rides on the shoulders of his bandmates during a stunning set comprised mainly of tracks from the aforementioned album, but also featuring bonus track 'Dog In Love With Kitty', 'The Rocketeer' from previous album 'Introducing' and a somewhat surprising, yet totally glorious, version of 'Hybrid Moments' by The Misfits.


Eric Nally's stage presence walks the line of uneasy genius, Andy Kaufman-like. Hilarious, immensely talented and a genuine sight to behold, there can be few more exciting frontmen on this rock 'n' roll world at this moment in time. He asks if anyone has a pack of cigarettes and at least a couple of packets, and lighter, missile towards the band. Lighting and smoking three cigarettes at once, the morally outraged have little time to complain as Nally proceeds to eat them. But while this pencil thin singer, with moustache to match, may be all over everything, it is impossible not to notice the greatness spattered over the rest of the band. Aaron McVeigh and Daisy, a mass of two-tone hair, provide the perfect rhythm section while Loren Turner throws shapes and gorgeous noises from his guitar. Horn player and backing vocalist Alex Nauth has a real star quality, while piano player Sky White is a frenetic mess of awesomeness behind, underneath and on top of his battered instrument.foxy4


But a band like this would be wasted without great songs - happily Foxy Shazam have them in abundance; 'Oh Lord', 'Unstoppable', 'Bombs Away' and 'Count Me Out' positively drip with coolness, while 'Bye Bye Symphony' offers Eric the chance to introduce some air sex moves to his stagecraft repertoire. 'Killin' It' closes a way too short set with guitarist Turner on his back amongst the crowd, Nally wearing a cymbal on his head and me, excuse the pun, floored.


The band make their way to the front of the stage area and, while, in a dark part of my mind I half expect a stadium rock-like daisy chained bow to the audience, throw out a staggering acapella version of 'Evil Thoughts' that leaves every person in this sweaty room convincefoxy3d that not only have they just been witness to one of the gigs of the year, but that they have also been in the presence of genuine musical genius.


I walked out into another rainy night in the big city, merched up and seriously convinced that the previous few hours were a genuine "I was there" moment, with Eric Nally's last words before he disappeared, after daring any audience member to kill him after the show, still stinging my ears: "I sometimes wish there was a mirror on stage so that I could watch myself...."