Phox are an incredibly engaging band to watch perform, and not just because each member is individually so attractive that together they’re slightly overwhelming to be around. Maybe because, with 6 members, it’s quite impressive to see how they all manage to fit together, in amongst their instruments and equipment on a small stage. But really, it’s the music. Despite their sound being relatively soft, they hold an audience’s attention and silence, with applause and cheers of ‘That was lovely’ rising up between songs.
This endearing nature was furthered at Broadcast as the band informed the crowd that they hadn’t made a setlist simply because they forgot their printer. From then on, in between songs, they discussed which track to move on to. It kept the atmosphere of the gig laid-back and relaxed, and allowed a little more audience interaction than usual when, as the night was coming to a close, they informed the crowd they only had one song left. Shouts came up asking for a cover song, to stay a little longer and keep the night going, and Phox obliged. After a brief chat amongst themselves of whether or not they could remember it – ‘Can you give us, like, a minute? All just turn around’ – they played their take on The Cardigan’s classic ‘Love Fool’.
Despite not having prepared their setlist, the tracks flowed easily into each other. They started with the upbeat (until you listen to the lyrics) ‘1936’, perfectly blending the banjo and keyboard, and centered the show around their most successful single, ‘Slow Motion’, again upbeat until you really consider the lyrics. This blending of the melancholy and the happy is pretty characteristic of Phox’s sound.
Between songs, they talked about their recent North American tour supporting Paulo Nutini, and visiting his parents fish and chip shop. As well as discussing the medicinal qualities of a hot toddy with the audience, and joked and laughed among themselves. The years of friendship that formed Phox are clearly apparent in their every performance, and maybe that’s another reason they are so entrancing to watch. But, again, maybe it’s their blessed attractiveness mixed with musical talent.
[Emma Ainley-Walker – @emaw23]