Foamy Ed is the type of band that you have to fully admire. What they may lack in revolutionary musicianship, they more than make up for in fun, energy and genuineness. This is the band’s fifth show in Wellington in the last twelve months – a testament to their relentless touring presence. Described as “catchy and powerful with a definitive hard edge and… an energetic stage presence that’s not to be missed”, a Foamy gig is always a real treat.
Palmerston North fun-boys The Nana Squad took the stage first. These guys have been around for four years now and somewhere along the way they actually got talented. Unfortunately their crowd at Valve was sparse – unfortunate because the always charismatic front man Jeremy ‘Jez’ Brown is a born entertainer. Catchy pop-punk meets geek-rock has you tapping your feet as Jez reaps the audience’s attention with on (and off) stage dancing and in-between-song banter, garnering a chuckle with his irrepressible (and always childish) sense of humour.
Wellington pop-punkers Not Quite Right filled the penultimate slot. It is difficult to be a successful pop-punk band in Aotearoa, as being unoriginal is usually the fuel for many reviewers’ scorn. While Not Quite Right is mild in comparison to many of their counterparts, this journalist couldn’t help but under appreciate their American So-Cal leanings. Fortunately for them the rapidly expanding audience seemed more than satisfied with a tight and otherwise enjoyable set.
The Valve was moderately filled-out when the Foamies began to strut their stuff. Bassist Lani Purkis was out of action, so former guitarist Aimee Banks admirably taught herself the bass lines specifically for this gig. It’s eight years since the band’s original formation, and the progression is deeply notable in both their song writing and live performances. As usual the girls play an unyielding set of high intensity rock songs, laced with passion, energy and youthful exuberance. The vocals of lead singer Fleur Parker can float beautifully over stratified riffs and beats one minute in ‘Surrender’, then spurt and shriek violently at fast and commanding compositions the next, in ‘MTD’.
In eight years of rising success and achievement, Foamy Ed has perhaps been hindered by financial constraint, but they would also argue that their gender is a barrier in what is traditionally male-dominated music. Parker states that the group has “had to work twice as hard as any males would”. “Guys can pick up a guitar and just ‘do’”, Parker unashamedly proclaims. “Girls pick up a guitar and just think about it.” Whatever the hell they do with their instruments, it seems to work pretty damn good. A great show.
Valve, Saturday 28th February
Check out: www.foamyed.com and www.nanasquad.com