Infadels @ Birmingham Barfly, 16 March 2008


It speaks well of a band when, with the venue just over half full, the band’s appearance causes everyone in the crowd to huddle down the front with not a single straggler left propping up the walls. Before being assigned to cover this gig I knew two things about The Infadels – their dance/rock songs often sounded better after being given some remix treatment and they’ve got a reputation (and have won awards) for putting on a heck of a show.

The latter is no accident. Each and every member of The Infadels throws their whole body into their performance with lead singer Bnann, uninhibited by instruments, throwing shapes and pogoing like a madman – in much the same way that the crowd are compelled to in fact.

‘Jagger 67’ and ‘Love Like Semtex’ kicked things off in kinetic fashion. The former jerking into life with a fuzzy synth riff and punched, staccato lyrics, the latter’s poppier smoothness being nonetheless just as danceable.


‘Topboy’s rudeboy attitude injected a blast of synth-ska into proceedings, embellished with some onstage clowning. With a new album called ‘Universe In Reverse’ due out soon it seems that the band’s sound has tilted slightly on its axis. Guitars are now slightly more to the fore than previously and this was highlighted with new song ‘Make Mistakes’ and the new album’s title track.

The new songs were well-received although energy levels sagged slightly with their introduction mid-set. The crowd were perked up again by a pulsing ‘Murder That Sound’ that was given a leaner, more aggressive edge than the version recorded for their debut album.

As if to reassure everyone that The Infadels are far from becoming a standard guitar band just yet, set-closer ‘Can’t Get Enough’ tipped the scales firmly back towards the ‘dance’ part of their equation. The band whipping the crowd up one last time and putting me in mind of a smaller-scale Faithless; Bnann, jumping on the spot making ‘let’s ‘ave it’ hand gestures, looking for all the world as if he belonged on an Ibizan podium.

Review – Chris Unitt
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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