LIVE: Femur - The Crown, Bristol, 20/10/2022 3

LIVE: Femur – The Crown, Bristol, 20/10/2022

[Genie enters, stage right]

Genie: Mere mortal, today is a glorious day! Liz Truss has been removed as Prime Minister, maybe signalling the beginning of the end for greedy Thatcherite neoliberalism, and hope for a more just and equitable future! I will grant you an indeterminate number of wishes for a banging night out to celebrate!

Protagonist: Schweet! Well, I want a bit of transgender poetry. Then I would like some performance art from a drag queen. Then, I want Femur.

Genie: Femur, the rather spiffing psych-rock band from Sheffield, comprising Felix Renshaw on vocals, Eddie Burks on guitar, Ryan Gillvray on bass and Danny Cox on drums, who just released their debut album, People Parts, last month?

Protagonist: The very same! Plus, I want it to be in a motherf***ing cave, I want to be greeted into the venue by a goddess in a red bikini, and I want to be surrounded by really cool people.

[Genie laughs]

Protagonist: What’s the matter? Can it not be done?

Genie: You don’t even need me mate. This is Bristol. What you just described is known as ‘Thursday’ around here.

This is Femur’s third stop on an eight-show tour to promote People Parts. This is a band that looks like they have seen some things, and they fit right in on this bill.

Tonight, they play most of the album, in order (why don’t more bands do that?), and it is a terrific showcase for all the eclectic goodness that it has to offer.

Any concerns that the many nuances of the album would be lost by being played in a motherf***ing cave are quickly dispelled by excellent opener ‘Transatlantic’, with all its terrific details more than intact. Hats off to the sound man. Maaan.

In fact, it turns out that what happens when you play psych rock in a cave is that you get just that bit more echo on the distorted vocals, and it sounds bloody fantastic.

What you also get, in this case, is dancing, and lots of it. ‘I Don’t Like’, which combines the lyric “I don’t like groovy music” with possibly the grooviest guitar line of 2022, really gets everyone moving, with Renshaw departing the stage to join them. The genie will have particularly enjoyed the middle-eastern stylings of this track, and so does everyone else.

Renshaw just oozes charisma as a frontman, and sounds a bit like Brett Anderson at times, which is no bad thing. The band behind Renshaw, meanwhile, is as tight as a Tory’s wallet, with Cox deserving special mention as a varied and explosive drummer. His contribution to the band’s sound is significant.

Every track offers something a bit different tonight. ’Overt Aggression’ features some beautiful layering over Gillvray’s dark, foreboding bassline. ‘Habanero’ is fast and punky. ‘Janky’ is grand and dramatic.

Probably the highlight, though, is set-closer ‘Comeback Kid’. Starting gently, it explodes into a fun and funky rhythm, before an extravagant, sweeping bridge. Outstanding.

Overall, then, a very impressive performance by a very creative and imaginative band. Enjoy your retirement, Ms Pork Markets.

Protagonist: Want to get a kebab after?

Genie: F*** it, why not.

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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.