Guest post by Laura Tait
Last year a friend in LA sent me a tweet telling me to check out Felix Hagan And The Family, as she thought they’d be right up my street. She’s a fan of Frank Turner and Frank’s a fan of the band, which is how they got onto her radar. So I downloaded a track and listened to it. It was like Franz Ferdinand meets musical theatre.
It couldn’t have been any more my cup of tea if it was served in a Denby mug and tasted of English Breakfast.
So I downloaded another. Loved that too. And another… loved, loved, loved.
Then I basically downloaded everything I could find that they’ve ever recorded. My two housemates, Gemma and Emma, were equally enamoured, and it became our household soundtrack to cooking the dinner and doing the dishes. It’s the sort of music that makes everything fun.
We kept an eye out for London gigs but when they came up, they always clashed with other plans. So when we spotted their Facebook post about a secret Surrey gig I got in touch, and that’s how we ended up at our first ever Songs From A Surrey Front Room.
What fortunate happenstance that was!
From the moment we wondered off the dirt track onto the farm, greeted by the sounds of laughter and the scent of pulled pork, we loved every second (that was despite our momentary panic that this wasn’t actually the gig and we were gatecrashing someone’s private party, and were on the verge of wondering into their kitchen and helping ourselves to their dinner).
We ate, drank and chatted until the band started, and the night got even better.
Felix and co. kicked off with You’d Better Be On The Inside Looking Out, which was ever-so fitting, as it was the sort of party that if anyone happened to be walking by (I don’t know how likely that is on a private farm) they definitely would have wished they were part of it.
The band then just played track after track of their wonderfully clever songs, interacting humorously with each other and with the crowd. By the time darkness fell, they were on the grass dancing with us during some tracks. And you couldn’t possibly not enjoy them – the lyrics are witty, the tunes are catchy and they just look like they’re having a brilliant time.
They even gave into the crowd’s demands for an encore, overcoming the fact they were missing their usual bass player and they’d already covered everything his stand-in knew. They ended up performing one the guy hadn’t played for two years, and he nailed it. And even if he hadn’t nailed it, we’d have all forgiven him because it was that sort of love-in.
The fun didn’t stop when the music did – afterwards we hung out by the kitchen waiting to buy t-shirts and have our picture taken with Felix bumped into the band by the kitchen and got chatting to them in a very cool, non-stalkerish way.
We hung out for a while longer, making lovely new friends before finally making our way back to our hotel through a field, stopping to pet a horse, which almost NEVER happens en route home from Brixton Academy.
Basically great food, smashing people and top music. Which is everything we want from a Saturday night.