Incoming: Johnny Foreigner (AU Magazine, Issue 41)
November 4, 2009, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Features | Tags: , ,



MEMBERS: Alexi Berrow – vocals, guitar, Kelly Southern – vocals, bass, Junior Elvis Washington Laidley – drums,
FORMATION: Birmingham, England
FOR FANS OF: At The Drive-In, Cap’n’Jazz, Bloc Party
CHECK OUT: Debut album ‘Arcs Across The City’ out now on Best Before Records.

“Fight Pop,” Johnny Foreigner front man Alexi Berrow exclaims. “I think we’ll settle on that.” Settling on anything, however, is not what Johnny Foreigner do best. Rabid dogs settle easier. The Birmingham three-piece start at the centre and work their way out, shouting, singing, laughing, bickering…whatever to create a sound that’s hyper kinetic, reckless and completely spontaneous. It’s also just a little bit exciting.

Just try to find a 20-second chunk of JF track that’s duplicated elsewhere on the song. Yet still they’re as catchy as a Velcro hedgehog. In their world, repetition is death for the mischievous. If Alexi isn’t barking and yelping and brawling with his guitar (wildly talented he is too), bassist Kelly Southern is filling in the gaps with her very own type of wrath, with both parts of the binary interplay hyped up on fizzy teatime cola-pop. It’s like a brother and sister fight at the kitchen table that spilled into a recording studio. All the while drummer Junior is thumping relentless ,spider-web drum patterns.

”We’ll probably split up in about two years,” reckons Alexi. “We know exactly what to say to piss each other off but then I’ll say something to Kelly just before we start playing and we’ll piss ourselves laughing.” In-band sexual tension aside, Alexi gets to talking about the last year which has been chaotic for the band; “We are in London nearly every week, we can’t seem to escape, we’re ready to hit the U.K”. When quizzed about Birmingham as a flash point for new music Alexi has his reservations: “Most of those bands receiving hype aren’t actually from Birmingham, we are. It’s not like Manchester where all the bands hang around with each other, at a really cool bar or in a particular sector of the city. There is no scene, not really.”

Johnny Foreigner are bona fide buzz-magnets for good reason being that they are at the van guard of a small minority of young Indie bands who are intent on actually rocking, stalking the capital spring-loaded to tear unprotected fringes from the herds of limp scene-sters blowing indifferent cigarette smoke into their Sauvignon blanc. Their inbound E.P is populated with complex and mercurial little juice-boxes of freckly indie-gems and before long will deliver them to a packed-out indie dungeon near you. Be there from the start. Set phasers to Fun.

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