Every now and then, a band comes that totally blows one’s mind. In 2005, I found myself captivated by B-Quartet. This year, The name of the band is The Fire Fight. The story of Henri was conceived 3 years ago, now, the story of Henri the Bear has been unveiled and I had the chance to check out the album launch of their full-length album, Henri.
The evening started with Iain playing the introduction to the Sonnet, followed by the rest joining him onstage. From where I was, there were smiles on faces around the room as Joakim Gomez narrated the journey of Henri.
Throughout the launch, The Fire Fight were accompanied by special guests Angel Lee (backing vox, guitars), Joakim (backing vox, keys), Esmond (backing vox, trumpet) and Calvin (trumpet) on songs like Portrait Lover and Covenant. It was really nice that they got (a little) help from their friends, talented musicians themselves!
The crowd was engaged with the narrations from Joakim, coupled with the music The Fire Fight played that told the story of Henri the Bear. Everyone warmed up pretty quickly to the music, and as I looked around the room, they were definitely enjoying themselves. The energy throughout the night was kept at a constant high, with most of the people around me dancing and waving their arms around. At some point in time, light sticks were given, and they were waved enthusiastically to the music.
Everything about the launch was outstanding, from the transformation of the Recital Studio to look like Elemenopee, to the party hats, animal ears, the balloons, the sing-alongs, the connection the band had with the audience and the band themselves.
I really enjoyed Iain’s drum solo, Josh and Angel singing an acoustic version of People and Spaces, the balloons which were thrown into the crowds, the decorations and the stage lighting, which changed with the mood of the songs. My favourite song of the night would have to be Portrait Lover, which incorporates expressive, poetic lyrics with melodic tunes.
All the jamming sessions The Fire Fight put in paid off, because they sounded incredible! There were some hiccups along the way but they still managed to engage the audience while keeping the energy levels up despite being out and about the whole day with soundchecks and preparations that needed to be done. They definitely delivered an outstanding performance, which ended with everyone shouting for an encore, before they finally ended with inevitable crowd pleaser, Train Song.
After the launch had ended, everyone hung around talking to their friends and congratulated the band before being going out. By the time I left the Recital Hall, there was a call for the last Henri CD, which was immediately snapped up. It was heartwarming that all the months of hard work the band put in paid off when all the CDs that were on sale and tickets to the album launch of Henri were sold out.
I was very impressed that so many musicians from other local bands turned up to support The Fire Fight. Some of the members from The Great Spy Experiment were there, in addition to those from Cardinal Avenue and Giants Must Fall, to name a few. It’s fantastic that they’ve got the support of other musicians within the scene.
In my opinion, The Fire Fight has what it takes to mature musically and join the ranks of other famous S-ROCK bands like Plainsunset, Electrico and The Great Spy Experiment. I look forward to what they have to offer in future!
On a side note, The Fire Fight was also impressive in their use of social media. Those of you who follow The Fire Fight on Twitter (www.twitter.com/thefirefight) would have known what they were up to throughout the day, whether it was photos of Iain soundchecking his drums or Josh eating a foccacia sandwich through the photos that were taken. The Tweets added to the buildup to the launch of Henri. Wake Me Up (www.twitter.com/wakemeupmusic) gave updates ‘live’ from the Recital Studio, complete with photos!
The S-ROCK scene lives on the hope that its fellow countrymen will wake up to the fact that there are exciting, talented & passionate musicians and songwriters in their midst. But even more than that, a belief that one fine day, our best bands will get the recognition they so richly deserve from outside their own home town. Watching, cheering and dancing to the sublime music of the Fire Fight last night ignited that flame of conviction that indeed the former will become a reality sooner rather than later. The launch of Henri was a celebration, not only of the Fire Fight’s magnificient achievement but the realization that these young men are our very OWN. My sense of pride shook me deeply, not only at what Josh, Iain, Jon and JBarks had wrought together but looking around at the like-minded souls around me – Mike, Song, Rebecca, Daniel, Caleb, JBoss, Leonard, Huza, Weiwen, Roland, Fir, Poh Soo, Ivan, Audie, amongst many others – this is a victory that we all share. Together.
The Fire Fight’s inspiring new album, Henri, is in the stores now.
…and there’s more…
Pix by Ivanified.