A five-piece metal band but with only four members all dressed in matching fluoro clothing – with bumbags – playing jazz, reggae and pop music to a room of sit-down patrons is one of the more bizarre experiences you can have at a metal show. However, this is Twelve Foot Ninja and bizarre is their middle name.
Actually, it’s not, it’s Foot however Twelve Foot Ninja are one of music’s greatest enigmas. To describe their sound is to ask someone to shout random words in a nonsensical and desperate sense. Fortunately, their shows are exactly the same tale of ‘WTF’ and we love them for it.
With one of the support acts being a sole performer dressed in a banana suit, welcome the ‘crazy world of TFN’.
The band clocked on at 9:30 and launched straight into Start The Fire from the cracking new album Vengeance. For fans of live music, starved of that adrenaline sonic and mesmeric rush of noise, it was like manna from heaven. The song was full of fire, rage and pent-up frustration of being kept offstage for two and half years and what a orgasmic release it was.
The band then move into Kingdom as chills dance down the spine, touching all the right senses. The soon to be departed vocalist Nik pointing at each member of the audience, pulling them into the performance. Everyone is part of this interactive , hyperactive, experience.
However, this is TFN so it’s not just a rock show, it’s a self-titled P&O cruise performance from Radical Shit Band as the guys highlight the fact we are a room full of people sitting down around tables eating, much like on a cruise ship.
The on-stage banter between the band is always a highlight of their shows, guitar malfunctions and all, as Stevic makes light of the aforementioned fluoro 90’s clothing by welcoming us to the bands mid-life crisis.
The set list covers the bands career with the new album’s title track, Over And Out – with Nik doing a lovely falsetto take on Tatiana’s verse – and Long Way Home, which can only be described as a prog punk masterpiece, leading the way.
There is still time for multiple secret messages to be hidden under people’s chairs as the band continue on with their banter with the audience before old faves Mother Sky and Coming For You are handed out like Santa gives presents to gleeful kids.
The show itself sounds raw, energetic, powerful and not without a few technical mishaps that make live music so great, that one off live event.
Due to the plague this tour is only two shows, or could be more, no one knows but if you have not got a ticket, get one. I have not laughed this much in a long time and it’s a music show.
Oh, and in one last TFN truism, there was no bassist because he got…yeah you guessed it! Only Twelve Foot Ninja could pull this sort of ‘dream gravy’ off.
Live Review By Iain McCallum