Admit it, you just can’t stop dancing when you hear Friendly Fires’ Hurting! Well, we can’t. And if there’s a band we’ve always held a real soft spot for over the late noughties its been these guys. The trio from St Albans burst onto the scene with their indie-shoegaze-catchy tunes and shortly nominated for a Mercury Prize. Two album down the line – the latter Pala which got to number 6 in the charts – and yet another Mercury Prize shortlist, there’s undoubtedly longevity in their rad sound. This weekend they’re taking their talents to the decks at XOYO’s bumper night at the Coronet theatre (tickets here!) where house and disco reign. In the meantime we chatted with their trusty drummer Jack Savidge about beats, Barry White and fancy suits.
How would you describe your sound?
When I DJ I play more or less anything with a sturdy 4/4 kick under it. Disco, house and techno in many different shapes and sizes.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and who gave it to you?
‘Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking’- I think my dad told me that- he’s full of all sorts of old timey hokum.
Tell us what’s in your wardrobe and describe your style.
I just moved house so I don’t have a wardrobe, just a rather bowed rail and a staggering amount of boxes. My style is um… sports casual with a side order of hard leisure.
What’s the most flamboyant piece of clothing you own?
A Gieves and Hawkes suit very kindly donated by them for an awards ceremony we went to. Hoping for that big court case to come up so I can give it another airing.
Do you dress differently on stage? If so how does your onstage style differ to the everyday?
Broadly presentable I guess. Being a drummer I produce several pints of perspiration per minute so that’s a lot of mid-tone colours out the window, and man-made fibres can be very rough on the nipples when they get wet.
What does 2014 have in store for Friendly Fires?
We’re just working on lots of new music right now. Hopefully it will begin to trickle out at some point in 2014.
Tell us about the first single you bought and when you bought it. What do you think that says about you?
I think it was Prince and The NPG ‘Get Wild’ and Rednex ‘Old Pop In An Oak’ from Our Price in Welwyn Garden City, so that’s fairly cool to complete sh*t in one shopping trip. I think what it says about me is that I was 9.
If you could record a track with one person dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Barry White and his Love Unlimited Orchestra would be quite something. Just a great combination of personality, great songs and beautiful, near spiritual arrangement.
What’s been the highlight of your career thus far and why?
The excitement you feel when you finish a song you know is very special is unbelievable. Especially at the end of long studio sessions that test your mental fortitude.
Tell us about the best gig you’ve ever played and what made it amazing…
Probably Glastonbury 2012- sun shining, 40,000 people packed up to the rail and seeing all the flags waving. It was like stepping into the videos of Glastonbury I recorded and re-watched endlessly during my teens.
You’re playing XOYO Loves…what are London crowds like compared to other cities? What is your favourite city to play in?
London crowds have a reputation for being kind of stand-offish, but that’s not been the case in my experience. Certainly never at XOYO. Mexico City’s always crazy for us, it always feels a bit Beatlemania out there. Such a wonderful place too, I could move there in a second.