Last week Swedish/ London rockers made a stop at the Bodega on their first headline UK tour, blowing the crowd away with their heavy, messy, infectious tracks.
After releasing their debut album ‘Long Live Life’ in July Francobollo are forever gaining popularity. With Nottingham being show 10 of the UK tour, the boys jokingly complain that ‘the days are blurring, we’re that far in to the tour we’re getting confused’. So far the tour had been successful with a night at the Brudenell in Leeds really standing out, ‘it was great you could smell the paint still. It was a big room and it gets kind of daunting as it’s kind of boomy, and it was actually dead good. Great sound, great crowd. It was actually quite funny cause a group turned up who striked me as quite young and immediately started ping ponging off each other before the show, and we were like ‘ah fuck here we go’, but then they started signing all the words and we realised they weren’t there to just cause madness.’ It’s an easy presumption to make considering the crazy energy levels the guys put out whilst playing, pushing themselves and the crowds to the limit with their punky, psychedelic guitars and distorted sounds.
Simon Nilsson, Sean Bean and Petter Grevelius all met in school in Sweden, creating Francobollo before moving to London and recruiting Sam Bailey as bassist after Wiya Hellborg left the band. Keeping Hellborg’s name for the band, Sam reflects that ‘it’s quite nice we have that, like he put so much in to the band for those years and it’s like he’s written his name on the steps […] he’s got guestlist for life’. When asked to describe their sound they simply stated that ‘we just make music to entertain us, I guess it’s all just relevant’. However Petter chose to settle on an old Swedish quote that when translated means ‘some people walk around with a smile on their face but a fist in their pocket, whilst other walk around with a fist on their face and a smile in their pocket’. Meaning that no matter how aggressive the sound may seem to be there’s always playful undertones.
Releasing the debut album after 7 years of writing and playing live the band reflect that they don’t tire of playing hits like Kinky Lola which is 3 years old and Future Lover. ‘At the moment we don’t get sick of playing them, but I think it would be healthy when we do cause it’s like the first is out there and it’s kind of like our greatest hits where the next one will be much more niche, and more us in this moment in time.’ The playfulness of their songs also allows them to play games with each other, playing each track a little different each time. They don’t conform to the ABAB patterns of general pop songs, and when playing live certainly don’t just stand there rushing to the end of the set list.
When playing they form a silent team, each in their own bubble doing their own thing whilst simultaneously creating this impressive synth layered sound. Each player is multitalented, all singing, playing the synth and surprising the audience with the decision for drummer Sean and singer Simon swap places to play Radio. They retained a high level of energy throughout, encouraging the crowd to lose all sense of control, with Petter taking a stroll with his guitar in to the front row and Simon pulling a crowd member up on stage to harmonise with. It was truly a gig not to forget.
Support came from local lads The Hijinks, a 5 piece band channelling retro psychedelia, verby guitars, roomy vocals and a wall of synths which results in a heavily Doors influenced sound. With their atmospheric, lengthy intros and funky bass line, songs like notable track ‘Hip Canon’ will definitely become hits.