Jamcafé is by no means your average music venue. A Continental restaurant-bar by trade, its floor space is transformed into a small, sweaty gig area, with a tiny, raised stage. The acoustics are excellent; as good as anything in Nottingham. And most importantly, the selection of beer is phenomenal – endless amounts of extremely tasty, and extremely strong, Belgian beer. Perfect.
Preceeding Francobollo are Nottingham’s The Angry Seed. This trio play punk rock like its 1976 all over again, with riffs, vocal melodies and drum patterns harking back to the old days. Despite bassist Joe’s day and a half without sleep, it is his throbbing bass that carries most of the songs. ‘Bermuda’ stands out from the pack with its Replacements chorus and James’ sneering vocals. ‘Fuck You St. Valentine’ ends the set, displaying everything that music should be in less than three minutes: fun, loud and outrageously catchy. The Angry Seed deserve a larger place in Nottingham’s music scene. Give them a go and you won’t be disappointed.
Francobollo take to the stage fully-clothed and leave considerably more scantily-clad. In the meantime, they play an hour’s worth of eccentric, bizarre and, quite frankly, fucked up pop-punk. The five-piece are 80% Swedish, with bassist Sam the exception. I don’t know what they feed them over in Sweden but whatever it is, we need some in Nottingham. Now.
Almost like some kind of warped ritual, each band member takes it in turn to remove their shirt as the set progresses. When one woman gets a little touchy-feely with Sam, he goes into a melodramatic sulk. His sulking epitomises what Francobollo are all about, just pure fun. Musically, they probably fit into the pop-punk genre, but there’s a lot more going on here than the average pop-punk band. Recent single, ‘Basketball’, is a set highlight with its La Shark riff and Wild Beasts vocals.
Francobollo are practically impossible to dance to with any degree of elegance, due to their unexpected mid-song breaks and disjointed drumming, but this adds to their charm, I suppose. Whether you go for them or not, they’re certainly the most fun band I’ve seen for a while, that’s for sure. Oh, and ‘francobollo’ means ‘stamp’ in Italian. Don’t forget that.
…Alex is listening to Wire – Pink Flag…