Friendly Fires, The Zombies and a cracking late summer beer festival: that's what St Albans has done for us. I'm sure there are countless other highlights, but these suffice for now.
If this were a beer blog, I might now go on to discuss the merits of the hundreds of IPAs, stouts, ciders, both locally brewed and imported, that can be found at the annual St Albans beer festival, held each year in the Albans Arena. But it isn't, so I won't. Instead I will mention that Friendly Fires released their self-titled debut album in September 2008, following it up with Pala in 2011.
Friendly Fires was an indie disco tour de force, from the nervous energy of "Jump in the Pool", through the funk of "In The Hospital", to the electro-dance of "Skeleton Boy". Enhancing the album's club credentials, remixes of some tracks took the album to another level, most notably the Aeroplane remix of "Paris".
For 2011's Pala, the band tossed guitars into the dumpster moved right out onto the middle of the floor. Of it's 11 tracks, all bar the title track are humdingers that just want to take you by the hand and pull you out of your seat. On the opening track, "Live Those Days Tonight", the band pay homage to the late 80s rave scene, and that's as good an indication as any of how they moved on from their debut album.
"Hawaiian Air" is a partly autobiographical tale of heading off for a short time in paradise. The message is: the journey might be hell, but the arrival makes it all worthwhile.