Gig Review: Fizz at Rough Trade

Words: Phil Taylor
Thursday 02 November 2023
reading time: min, words

Fizz appeared, larger than life and full of positive energy, at Rough Trade on Sunday afternoon to promote their new - debut - album, The Secret To Life. To those who have not yet encountered this band (surely there can’t be many judging by the length of the line outside the venue by noon), they’re a super group, in more ways than one...

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Dodie, Greta Isaac, Martin Luke Brown and Orla Gartland have melded together into a band which possesses a special sort of magic. There’s an obvious, casual and electrifying chemistry between them all; on-stage this translates into a confident but laid back vibe, which gently pulls everyone along for the ride. They’re all great individual musicians, with highly tuned ears and great vocal control. This allows them, together, to formulate entrancing and engaging songs packed with tight harmonies and interesting shifts in melody and timing. They experiment wildly sometimes, taking their songs down pathways which wend and wind to places you think they may never escape from - but they always do. 

Fizz only revealed their new identity to the world in June this year; since then, they’ve tuned their live performance nicely, getting comfortable with each other and their fresh songs. This showed through at this weekend’s Rough Trade show - billed as an album launch and signing - when they performed most of the new record (and also threw in a raucous and professionally messy cover of Lily Allen’s Smile).

They burst out of the gates with the funky, swaggering album title track The Secret To Life before blasting out their first single, High In Brighton, and then working their way through the rest of the album (although in a different order). 

The four members took turns to introduce and take the lead on different songs, another illustration of the collaborative attitude they take to this project. That approach also helps demonstrate just how catchy and captivating each of their songs is. Martin introduced Rocket League as “our silliest song” (it kind of is, but it’s still a banger). This contrasted nicely with You, Me, Lonely, presented with poignancy by Dodie, and then the slow number Lights Out, continuing the sad theme. This one features some incredible discordant harmonies that take a certain level of vocal accuracy to get right, and the moment that all resolved to a beautiful major chord was spine-tingling.

Hell Of A Ride was a great showcase for Martin’s pleasingly mellow vocals (and more pinpoint harmonies) and a chance for the audience to join in with foot stomps and hand claps; As Good As It Gets generated another epic sing-along from the packed room; The Grand Finale rounded out the set.

This show produced a genuinely joyful and relaxed atmosphere, set by the four on-stage and their frequent glances, giggles and jokey asides – and all this on a Sunday lunchtime, too. 

At the signing table afterwards, the band complemented the vibe of Rough Trade - and Nottingham - as a venue, and told me how great it was to hear everyone singing their lyrics back to them. To be honest, it would be almost impossible not to, such is the nature of Fizz.

Fizz performed at Rough Trade on 29 October 2023


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