I’d always thought Fenech Soler was pronounced with a kind of continental flair and that they were from somewhere in France or something, but as it turns out these Annie Mac-approved electro-pop types are from the midlands and it’s “Fenek Soluh”. This is deduced from one of their frontman’s heartfelt interjections – “Thanks very much, we’re…” – that come between (and sometimes in the middle of) each and every song. Usually it’s, “Thanks very much, cheers.” We get, “How we feelin’ tonight King’s College, are we good!!!?”, twice. They have glittery outfits, a light box with their name on it like this is going out live on T4 and the drummer salutes the crowd when they leave. This is the window-dressing for a set of superbly crafted punk funk-lite (think Friendly Fires as conceived by Simon Cowell) with lyrics of the ‘spies telling lies’ variety and though that might sound both dated and like your worst nightmare, there’s something very endearing about their bombastic, small town naivety. It’s miles away from more chic contemporaries like Is Tropical and Egyptian Hip Hop, but FS have such a sincere desire to be huge you’d be one hard bastard to begrudge them every success.
By Edgar Smith
Originally published in issue 16 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. April 2010