After three years of silence ended by a hybrid record of electro, funk and indie pop, I'm expecting a mismatched group of wavy musicians with more hair than stage presence to troop on stage at Thekla on Monday. Instead, a well groomed, charismatic quartet with enough energy to fill a stage a lot larger than the one they’re occupying bounce into the spotlight, whipping into a euphoric frenzy of dancing and cheering mere seconds into opening number “Double Dutch." This is Superfood. And their command over the audience with songs both old and new is a testament to just how popular their new album is.
Throughout the night, frontman Dominic Ganderton’s gentle tone continues to lull the crowd into false senses of solitude, before being met each time with multi-layers of dialogue, tripping electro chords and a 4-on-the-floor kick drum patterns. It's invigorating, and the crowd is lapping up every second.
The title of the band's new album, ‘Bambino' translates to ‘little boy,’ and suddenly this fits perfectly. The tunes are drenched in youthful vigour and playfulness, encompassing the band’s sense of fun which is emphasised even more live than on record. The noise and summer camp-esque chants that layer the album create a schoolyard dynamic in a small venue, transporting the audience back to a time in their youth when they could dance and sing freely, and leave their inhibitions at the door. Quirky pop tune “Where’s The Bass Amp” is met with especial revere by the audience, who are as excitable as the kids on the track. It would be easy to find these tunes nostalgic if it weren't for the pristine hooks and funky bass that have been so expertly mixed in.
The band continue to play a selection of old and new tracks; highlights including the social commentary of “TV” and the bizarre balladic ode to wandering through a kitchen that is self-titled debut single “Superfood.” Both “Unstoppable” and “Natural Supersoul” have the audience in hysteria, resulting in a stage invasion. The crowd gets up on stage to dance with the band members, who handle the sudden crowded stage with grace and excitement. Someone grabs the mic and joins in on lead vocals with Dom, and it seems as normal to the band as breakfast in the morning.
The introduction of a new bassist and Ryan Malcom must be commended. Superfood have come back better than ever, and given a razor-tight performance, which easily fits into my top ten best gigs of 2017.
If you missed this show, be sure to catch Superfood when they open for Wolf Alice on the 8th of November.