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Fergus Crook reports.
Soaking wet from sweat, beer, and the traditional cup of urine, my face shoved from armpit to armpit, my feet trampled on and my ribs elbowed, I raised my hand in the air and screamed out, in the smoke filled air, lyrics I knew word for word. At the age of 14 I experienced my first real gigging experience. On Thursday 12th November, Electric Circus opened its doors to a pack of excited young fans, just waiting to rave away to Frankmusik, the electro-synth pop whiz kid, energetic from sheer enthusiasm and exhilaration, not alcohol or drugs. Whilst I sat at a table, pint in hand, trying to appear cool, the majority of the audience, probably under the age of 17, clamoured in anticipation to get to the front. However, when Frankmusikâ€™s support act came on stage, I was stirred from my beer nursing and, intrigued, left my table. A guy in aviators, cap, and Iggy Pop vest, storms on stage, his bling shining under the lights. He begins beat-boxing a mega mashup of tunes from drum & bass and hip hop, to chart cheese, and then his DJ kicks in and Iâ€™m hooked. Killa Kela, rated one of the worldâ€™s best beatboxers, got the crowd going like no other support act Iâ€™ve ever seen. There wasnâ€™t one uninterested audience member, bored and waiting for the act they actually paid to see. Killa Kela made it his gig temporarily, and made sure the atmosphere was ecstatic for the arrival of the real headliner.
Frankmusik didnâ€™t drown in the hype either, he harnessed it and pulled the attention firmly back to him, jumping around the stage with the energy of a small child who has eaten an excess of pop-tarts, grabbing the mic and clattering away on his keyboard. He belted out his hits, â€˜Confusion Girlâ€™, â€˜When Youâ€™re Aroundâ€™ and â€˜Better Off As 2â€™ with synth-smooth ease, and soon the audience had blended as those older fans, deciding that acting mature was not something they had come to do, joined in with the carefree crowd. Added in are covers of Rihannaâ€™s â€˜Please Donâ€™t Stop The Musicâ€™ and a rather good rendition of Amy Winehouseâ€™s â€˜Rehabâ€™ until his band, which includes Mikaâ€™s bassist, exit and leave Frankmusik alone to entertain the masses. The mood is calmed as he pulls off acoustic versions of the Pet Shop Boysâ€™ â€˜Itâ€™s A Sinâ€™ and his own hit â€˜3 Little Wordsâ€™ to end the show.
It may be far from the guitar bands of the time that I popped my gigging cherry, there may have been a severe lack of sweat, beer and beards, but this clean-shaven electro-pop of 2009 certainly has a rare quality that is manifested in the fact that it is very accepting of all musical genres; it lacks musical snobbery yet it is slick, smart and extremely energetic. Raw may not the word to describe Frankmusik, but he is a man who knows what he likes and knows what he wants to do, and, as this gig proved, knows exactly how to do it!