‘Wonky’ pop outfit FLING are a glitter-glazed tab of ecstasy down the throat of the bleak British nation. With a stage presence of gargantuan proportions and a plethora of heart-racing, hook- soaked ditties, these five lads from Bradford are shaking up the British indie scene one Anthem at a time.
Their recent single: “Lookin’ Outta My Window” anticipates the band’s biggest release to date on Leeds-based label Dance to the Radio. So let’s take a more in depth look at their new track in an attempt to paint a picture of a, frankly, indescribable group of musicians.
“Lookin’ Outta My Window” opens to a distorted trickle of warped, indefinite noise; framing the ear-enticing indie-pop hymn that follows within the outlandish and subtly bizarre world that FLING seems to inhabit. Back in March, my own band supported FLING in a subterranean Huddersfield venue known as The Basement. And, no that’s not an edgy name for a fancy club. It was literally a basement. (Indeed, one that my bandmates and I had slept in the night before, wrapped in bin bags to keep ourselves warm).
When FLING came on stage, it seemed as if the room would barely be able to contain them. Their presence poured out of them like honey, saturating the walls and melting into every-single-person in the room. “Lookin’ Outta My Window” is the immaculate musical embodiment of a band who transcend all expectations one may have of the arguably drab UK Indie scene.
The track is driven by instrumentation that traverses the line between Pop and Psychedelia with ease. The mellow crunch of multi-tracked guitars and rich synth lines combined with a concrete beat, graces the song with a foundation so textured it almost feels possible to bite into the frequencies throbbing in and out of your auditory cortex.
This groundwork allows for frontman, Charles to demonstrate his intense and incredible ability to not only write lyrics with a striking visual clarity, but to deliver them with a rawness, aggression and ease that makes you want to punch your head through a wall, shouting ‘JUMANJI!’ at the top of your lungs. I said it to his face, and I’ll say it again: Charles makes David Bowie look like Karl Pilkington.
FLING truly embody the provocative, androgynous theatricality of Adam and the Ants, Bowie, Iggy Pop and countless others, but still manage to keep their music firmly grounded in the present. When Charles sings: “Don’t ask for me today, I can’t afford a ticket. I just want to stay inside”, he taps into a mind-set shared by so many young British people at this time.
The hedonistic attitude towards everyday life that Charles’ lyrics advocate in the chorus, allows the track to build and build in intensity towards a climax that seems to float somewhere out in the stratosphere, just out of reach. That is until, a fat, fuzz –driven guitar solo punches you right between the eyes and brings the song back down to earth at a break-neck speed.
I remember looking back at the crowd swirl and churn together during FLING’s performance of this song. The room was packed, but there wasn’t a single person truly present. We had been taken out of ourselves and melted together in a moment of pure ecstasy, a moment in in which the only things that mattered were the pulsations of pure joy that came of that PA system.
Once the music stopped, reality fell back into place. But it was a reality that, in my opinion, felt transformed in some way. It may sound like an exaggeration, but you can only understand if you’ve seen it happen. FLING, in their recordings and in their live shows, have an astonishing ability to affect the listener in a way that words can’t really describe.
Words by Sam Kemp