The Sunshine Underground / Foals / KBC - 53 Degrees Preston - 2.5.07

Calling yourself Foals would suggest a fey indie band, introspective, sensitive and fragile. Then again names can be deceptive, especially with this quintet. Foals have a vast epic sound with a funkiness and shouty vocals not unlike Interpol. A pop song about female gymnastics is rather like a dancier Franz Ferdinand jamming furiously with the Futureheads but a hundred times faster. "Hubba" has tribal drumming aided marvellously by a musician using the tiniest keyboard we've ever seen. The instrumentals put soul, vigour and eclectic majesty into the dance fused mix. "2 Step Twice" is in the same league as The Automatic with the beats and guitars the most commercial track tonight.

The frontman of Preston's very own KBC looks camper than a row of tents in his shorts and football shirt. Following foals the funk rock trio are lacklustre to say the least. Normally these lads shine like total heroes but tonight the magic is nowhere to be found with only the bass player showing natural charisma. Their set which features a megaphone on at least one song is ordinary and despite a crowd happy to crowdsurf and most near the front the only saving grace is a cover of the Smiths "Girlfriend In A Coma".

The last time Designer Magazine saw The Sunshine Underground a feeling of disappointment was present but in a matter of a few short months these Shrewsbury boys who formed in Leeds have shaped up and improved excellently. With a light show to rival Klaxons and a singer / guitarist brave enough to wear a hood leisure wear top that even Goldie Lookin Chain would view as tasteless, it's a slick crowd pleasing gig from beginning to end.

Starting with the single "Put You In Your Place" from their album "Raise The Alarm" the punchy hooks, anthemic choruses and pop rock melodies are all vital ingredients to the sound of the Sunshine Underground. There may be the odd glowstick being waved around in the venue but these guys aren't new rave but an above average indie rock band with dance music undertones.

New song "Fall In Line" has heavily reverbed vocals, starts slowly and then speeds up. There's sinister guitars, a touch of angst with the pomp rock of The Killers. Another great tune "The Way It Is" is one of the many good reasons why the Sunshine Underground have such a loyal and dedicated following with brave crowdsurfers keeping security busy all night long.

The Sunshine Underground work hard, play hard and party with the crowd who adore this band and it's easy to see why

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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