Gig Review: Flamingods at 60 Million Postcards

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Hailing from the far flung countries of Bahrain and Dubai, Flamingods have created a sound that is refreshingly bizarre and exciting in a time of pre-packaged indie-rock. It was therefore a real treat for the audience of 60 million postcards to see such a culturally inspired band for free as part of the venues We Broke Free event! Hope Frost Reviews…

The band formed in Bahrain where the majority of the members grew up together. However, the band moved over to England to attend University, where they first began creating this unique sound together.

Their music is a melting pot of different cultures and influences, creating what they identify as exotic psychedelia. The instruments they play seem to have been gathered from the four corners of the globe and the band switch seamlessly between them throughout the gig. They play each in perfect synchrony amongst the hum of percussion that mimics the sound of a tropical canopy.

Flamingods recently played a sold out gig in London’s Moth Club, and we had them for free in our very own Sixty Million Postcards, which made the event all the more special. The audience were buzzing as you walked into the venue, which was only heightened as Pregnant played their set of dreamy electronica.

As the crowd started to gather at the back of the bar, Flamingods came dancing onto the stage. Under pink and blue hues and flamingo shaped light bulbs, they kicked the set off with their first track ‘Majesty’. This song is one of the more mellow songs from the album, with a hazy vibe that makes you feel like you’re reclining under a palm tree. Even from the first song you can tell that this band are incredibly tight and that they are all masters of their array of worldly instruments, which is even more impressive as the majority of the band are completely self-taught.

The crowd were feeding off the energy of Rasool and his band of merry psychedelic men, so when they started to play ‘Taboo Grooves’ the crowd couldn’t help but groove along with them.

By their second song the ethos of the band had become clear, they don’t follow the traditional composition of western music – it felt more like a journey we had been led through with the swirling melodies that rise and fall throughout each track. The band are also inspired by afro-beat drumming and this is what helps to ground the songs as the bass drum holds onto the beat, allowing the percussion and synth to whirl around it.

This next song is about coming together, because in this world we’re living in there are people trying to set us apart. With xenophobia on the rise and corrupt politicians lying for their own personal gain- we say f**k that! Because we all come from the same piece of earth and we need to celebrate that. We are all one, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise

In ‘Gojira’, another track from their new album, you can hear the influence from sixties exotica music in their guitar riffs, which slip between the heavy drums, creating an intensely diverse track that the crowd couldn’t help but move to. The crowd danced along with Rasool who was clapping and dancing amongst the crowd; it was an experience we could all be a part of.

The sound of this band is wildly diverse, and just when the crowd thought they couldn’t fit any more instruments into that back corner of Sixty Million Postcards, Rasool whipped out a taishōgoto, a Japanese stringed instrument that the aptly named song ‘Taishōgoto’ is based around. Prest held it up for the crowd to see and played it up in the air, which was perhaps the most Japanese inspired rock star thing I have ever seen. The song itself is from the band’s first studio album ‘Sun’ and was one of my favourites of the set, with the crowd really getting into it and cracking out some pretty impressive dance moves. It was incredible to be dancing to this mix of eclectic instruments and we were exceptionally lucky to have Flamingods guide us.

Before the band played ‘Majesty’ which was their last song, Rasool made a speech about his views on our current, somewhat dismal state of political affairs, proclaiming: “This next song is about coming together, because in this world we’re living in there are people trying to set us apart. With xenophobia on the rise and corrupt politicians lying for their own personal gain- we say f**k that! Because we all come from the same piece of earth and we need to celebrate that. We are all one, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.”

The most striking part about Flamingods is the inclusivity you feel in the crowd, everyone is involved and everyone is there to enjoy the music together. It’s always special when you find a band that just seems genuinely happy and excited to be playing for you and Flamingods deliver that and more.

Flamingods’ new album ‘Majesty’ is out now, and you can catch them at The Joiners in Southampton on the 26th.

Rowan Allen

Credits to Rowan Allen Photography – RowanAllen.com