Mountford Hall, Liverpool University
12th April 2008
Tonight was always going to be a challenge for Brighton-based rockers
My Federation. Entertaining a legion of diehard James fans while they
impatiently await the arrival of their idols is no easy feat, but their
brand of upbeat electro-funk quickly found favour amongst the myriad 90s
Too many support acts have an air of ‘we’re only here to
pass the time’, but from the off it was clear My Federation were
going to be different. Their exciting concoction of driving rhythms, impressive
harmonies and pulsating guitars caught on fast. With choruses seemingly
written for audience participation, melodies reminiscent of the Beach
Boys and a funkiness to rival Kasabian, the band have stumbled across
a winning formula.
Their debut album ‘Don’t Wanna Die’ received favourable
reviews in the media, earning them comparisons to The Flaming Lips. From
the evidence at hand, such reviews were more than justified. The entire
set was an apt homage to 90s indie-dance and 70s rock - from the ideology
of Oasis, to the epic guitar assault of Led Zepplin. The raw basslines
pumping away beneath the surface added rawness to the mix, the spattering
of synth some additional flavour.
Wearing so many influences firmly on their sleeve gives the music a familiar
quality. Attending a My Federation gig is not unlike a nostalgic evening
with your record collection, seeking out your most treasured records,
selecting your favourite tracks. For this reason, they are apt support
for a band like James, who were there commercial peak in the mid-90s.
Frontman Lee ‘Muddy’ Baker, who worked as producer on the
latest James album, boasts a distinctive vocal style, his light, psychedelic
tones providing the perfect accompaniment to their rich tapestry of sound.
Baker, who is also responsible for all the band’s artwork, has a
commanding stage presence and seemingly limitless reserves of energy.
No doubt we can expect big things from My Federation in the future. Their
debut album earned critical acclaim, and live they really know how to
pack a punch. Watch this space.