Mike Atkinson

I’m From Barcelona – Nottingham Rescue Rooms, Thursday September 13

Posted in gigs, Nottingham Post, Rescue Rooms by Mike A on September 13, 2007

Now that the Polyphonic Spree have faded from view, and the Flaming Lips have graduated to larger venues, I’m From Barcelona are filling the gap for those who want their indie-pop served up with the maximum degree of fun and frolics, theatricality and spectacle.

Reduced from their full line-up of 29 to a skeletal minimum of 13, the touring version of the band aims to turn every show they play into a riotous party for overgrown children. Heroically undaunted by the sparse turn-out, they succeeded in bringing the Rescue Rooms to a state of near delirium.

Within the opening minutes, showers of scarlet confetti were being pelted at the audience, while a sackload of balloons fluttered down from the balcony. Remarkably, fresh supplies of confetti were constantly unleashed throughout the set, covering the venue in thick layers of paper. In preparation for the unlikely anthem We’re From Barcelona (a strange choice considering that the band hails from Jönköping in Sweden), front man Emanuel Lundgren descended from the stage and handed out handfuls of the stuff to the crowd, who obliged him by creating an impromptu ticker-tape parade.

In the midst of all this mayhem, the music almost took second place. Relentlessly upbeat and exultant in tone, what it lacked in emotional range was compensated for by the sheer exuberance of the performance. Clad in black, with sparkling silver braces, home-made fuzzy-felt corsages and glam-rock make-up, the band members led by example, turning their unselfconscious glee into invigorating performance art.

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