Indie Pop group Fizz dazzle the group with impressive harmonies and a friendly atmosphere
As a huge dodie fan in 2017, this event was particularly exciting for me. Indie pop supergroup FIZZ‘s debut album “The Secret To Life” hit the shelves October 27th and the band, made up of Dodie “dodie” Clark, Orla Gartland, Greta Isaac and Martin Luke Brown, are looking likely to have made the top 20 album charts by Friday (November 3rd). They embarked on a record store tour and Vinilo in Southampton was their sixth stop.
As me and my skeleton-clad friend walked to Vinilo, we began to see an increasing number of fans, all dressed in Halloween get-ups, as requested by the band’s Instagram. As we poured into the store, the atmosphere was excitable as fans admired each other’s costumes and swayed along to the FIZZ-esque music in the background. As it drew closer to 7pm, the small crowd began buzzing and when the band burst onto the stage they were met with a cheer that filled the room.
Starting with “High In Brighton”, the band appeared full of energy and excitement however they didn’t let that diminish their musical ability as they sang their harmonies so beautifully that you felt stunned into silence. In true Halloween spirit, they were dressed as the cast of the Wizard of Oz with dodie fittingly as Dorothy, Orla as the lion, Martin as the scarecrow and Greta in the Tinman, covered in silver paint which apparently smelled like fish. They announced “welcome to Oz” and burst into a gorgeously harmonised verse of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” as the intro to “Strawberry Jam”.
The bands chatted with the audience and as the show was on the smaller side, it felt personal. They explained that “I Just Died” was about “dear Dorothy” buying a plane ticket to see a boy but then the boy told her not to come; having that story behind the song felt like a little secret and made the song feel more animated, especially when Martin charmed the crowd with an impressive piano solo.
The highlight for me was the performance of “You, Me, Lonely”. While it was introduced in a spooky voice, it was nothing like that, but dodie justified it by proclaiming “there’s nothing more scary than the end of a relationship”. The song, quiet and emotional, was quintessentially dodie, however with Greta and Orla’s harmonising in the background, the song was taken to a whole new level. The crowd was silent, staring in awe at this glowing sound right in front of them. Followed up by “Lights Up”, their “saddest song” was a heart-breaking combination and you could feel the heaviness of the crowd, standing affected, almost as if nostalgically remembering break-ups of the past with the peaceful melodies as a backdrop.
The band noticed the drop in emotion and picked it back up with “Close One” and a lovely big scream. Later in the show, after Martin had shone on “Hell of a Ride” and Greta had popped a silver vein on her neck hitting the high note in “As Good As It Gets”, the band opted to do a cover. Performing a mash-up of Smile by Lily Allen and Wannabe by the Spice Girls, the band had everyone dancing along as they laughed and sang in a cheery manner, making the lyrics humorous. dodie surprised everyone by breaking out her clarinet to perform “Entry To The Gladiators” mid-song which caused the crowd to burst into laughter. The band were clearly enjoying themselves and the fact that the crowd could see that made them enjoy it more. They paused the show to announce the winner of the costume contest- a unicorn! Before launching into their final song, the title track of their album “The Secret To Life”. After asking everyone to begin by stomping and clapping, the air began to fill with bubbles while they sang and a little cat puppet appeared on dodie’s arm and meowed to the song, causing the audience to join in and meow back.
Throughout the show their voices were so vibrant and their harmonies were so strong and rich that it felt as if you could see them. Their singing felt like it was surrounded by a golden glow and writing this even now, I feel as if I can still hear it in my head. The band rotated around the drums, guitars and a keyboard with the occasional clarinet from dodie. There were no recorded backing tracks and it felt refreshing being able to see exactly what you could hear. It felt as if you weren’t just witnessing music being played, but music being created.
The band member’s voices worked incredibly well together, they blended nicely and created harmonies that would make a barbershop quartet envious. The heavy rain outside made Vinilo feel so cosy and warm and it felt as if you were lucky enough to shelter from the storm in what dodie remarked as “the nicest record shop ever!”. The intimacy of the small show made it feel like you were hanging out with friends rather than watching performers on a stage. This feeling was exacerbated by the signing after the show where fans queued up to get their records and CDs signed and chatted with the band before posing for a photo. My friend and I chatted with them about skeleton make-up and my little smudged spider I had drawn on my forehead for Halloween, while I was a bit starstruck, it was so easy to laugh with and they made every fan feel truly welcome.
The musical ability of the group cannot be denied and if you’re looking for a new listen I’d definitely recommend checking out their album The Secret To Life; catching them on the last stop of their record tour in London on November 12th or heading to their main tour in February 2024.