FEMALE IS NOT THE GENRE – The Franklys t-shirt pops round the corner, attracting our attention, as we stroll into The Finsbury. Relevant everywhere, the message perhaps hits home harder than anywhere else in punk. The Franklys are ballsy, punchy and, as we’re about to experience, fill the room with the kind of euphoria that only punk delivers.
The half-Swedish, half-English quartet debuted with the beautiful, raw garage sound of Are You Listening in 2017 and are back this month with a hot fresh EP Framed, launching tonight. The room quickly fills and we can’t take our eyes off of sequined-up glamorous Jennifer Ahklvist centre stage with the first thrums of guitar. The Franklys have an instant magnetic presence – it’s all in from that moment, we’re all in, fully engaged. Amidst the heavy riffs and deep, droned out, garage sound of the debut album, we’re introduced to Framed – taking The Franklys and the audience in a slightly different direction. Faithful to their garage roots, the four songs interspersed amongst the tracks from their debut LP set a different, exciting tone to the band’s sound.
‘Not Guilty’ has the energy and prowess of the first single; it’s riotous, upbeat and melodic, submerged in The Franklys’ 90s influences, whilst confidently dipping into the poppier end of riot grrrl. ‘Illusions’ follows these traditions with an exciting twist on more glam rock riffs and falling into classically heavier rock sound. ‘Small Town Small Talk’ is a departure from The Franklys as we knew them until tonight. It enthusiastically encroaches joyous guitar pop territories reminiscent of The Hives or The Vines. This the band do brilliantly with a new spin, the melodic rhythm and upbeat pace through the song as it builds and drops only to erupt in a great pop chorus and bold riffs. It’s a brilliantly paced number that instantly stands out tonight. With ‘Mayday’, last on the record, The Franklys put us back on the track of the familiar garage riot, this time taking on political observation of mid-Brexit Britain.
Flying high on their ferocious energy, the gig ends with enthusiastic applause and all of us chanting for more. The Franklys prove they’re not to be missed with a live show that gets all of our heart beats pumping with DIY love. Needless to say, my mate runs to the merch stall seconds after The Franklys go off stage to get the t-shirt. We’ll sure be back when they are.
Review and photography by Anna Siemiaczko