LIVE: Electric Callboy @ Eventim Apollo, London

By Shannon Eacups

May 1st, 2023. Fade in, and cut to the head shot of the Eventim Apollo sign, in bold red letters reads: Electric Callboy. This would explain why some are dressed in vibrant 80s sportswear that came directly from their merch store, why there appeared to be tiny hands pop up between the cue barriers, and why crowds of people were chanting ‘do do do do do do do do do’ like a mantra. Tonight has been marked in the calendar as an event that has had people itching in anticipation, anxious in fear it might be cancelled and excited to scream like a lunatic for a couple hours at the start of what is undoubtedly going to be a stressful week for our nine-to-fivers. 

Warming up the crowd this evening are Berlin trio Future Palace, who sound like a mix of While She Sleeps, As Everything Unfolds and Icon For Hire. Maria Lessing has a rageful prowess when she screams into the mic that flows into a warm melodious tone with her cleans, giving the crowd every ounce of energy they have on that stage, with even their latest track ‘Malphas’ sounding heavier; whether that’s down to this evenings atmosphere – especially since it’s the last show of the tour – or the impeccable musicianship from a younger, fresh faced band once thing is certain – do not sleep on this band! By the time the opening notes of ‘Paradise’ are heard, we’re reminded that our time with them this evening is nothing but short lived. 

Next up are the exciting Finnish sextet Blind Channel who electrify the stage with opener ‘Alive Or Only Burning’. It’s clear after last year’s Eurovision that they’ve won over a large majority of the UK who were as eager to see this band as they were for tonight’s headliners, especially after coming off the back for the true power tour with I Prevail – the stars appear to always align in their favour. From start to finish, their set explodes with unwavered levels of energy and faultless vocal performances between the raps, cleans and screams tag teamers Joel Hokka and Niko Moilanen supplying us with quirky electronics, huge choruses, lively, vibrant guitar riffs and often erratic drums grooves. ”Everybody get the fuck down” is how they introduce Anastasia’s ‘Left Outside Alone’ which had everybody jumping off the ground and voices in the venue shouting along, almost like you’re at your drunk aunt’s birthday karaoke at your local. Whilst the flashing lights cue the opening of the recognisable synth melody of ‘Dark Side’, they’re naturals on the stage and never miss an opportunity to show off in front of the crowd, and create a perfect ending before a chaotic storm arrives.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please! Electric Callboy welcomes you onboard and wishes you a pleasant ride…‘ and just like that we’re riding on the ‘Tekkno Train’; a journey expected to be unlike any other. Their ability to switch between edgier tracks like ‘Mindreader’ and ‘Crystal’s’ to the hilarity tongue-in-cheek attitude of tracks ‘Hypa Hypa’ and ‘Hurrikan’ might be jarring to those who don’t know how ridiculous this band is but for the long-timers this is just a testament to the greatness that is Electric Callboy; a band who clearly know no bounds to the havoc they cause. ‘MC Thunder II (Dancing Like A Ninja)’ brought crowd surfers a mosh pits galore whilst settling on a blue and purple colour palette with some quirky visuals; the production standpoint alone is something to marvel in awe at. It was as much of a lights and visual show as it was an absolute rave.

As the night continued, Electric Callboy made sure to bring nothing less than their best and in return asked that we do the same – how often is it you see a drum solo to Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’? The atmosphere switched from that of a typical metal show to a fully fledged rave in seconds. We were even treated to a special guest appearance from Future Palace’s Maria Lessing on ‘Fuckboi’; their emo-pop anthem that proves Germany does it better than Cleveland. Though nobody was prepared for Kevin Ratajczak‘s beautiful renditions of Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’, Ronan Keating’s ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ and The Backstreet Boys cult classic ‘I Want It That Way’; a man on a mission for Nico Sallach‘s heart. 

Then just as quick as it had started, the show came to an end… or so we thought! Before we knew it, the opening to ‘Pump It’ could be heard and the band returned in their respective 80s aerobics outfits completed with wigs and tache’s as the cherry on top of this spectacular sundae. The encore set was nothing short of a karaoke night with your mates; voices could be heard across the venue, bouncing off every wall to ‘Spaceman’ and ‘We Got The Moves’. The latter featured the band dressed in hideous bowl cuts, and people in the crowds raised their little hands in unison as we all raved one last time that night. 

Despite guitarist Daniel Hanib unable to continue the tour due to a family emergency, Electric Callboy still made sure to prove they are most ridiculous band of our time – it’s often hard to remember this was the same band that wrote a song about a dead guinea-pig and the tragedy surrounding it. But there is a charm to the madness, the entertainers of our hearts, who keep us coming back for more. They went above and beyond on production with colourful and sometimes dark visuals to accompany each song, pyrotechnics galore that could be felt all the way at the back of the room, and constant crowd engagement; there was a never a moment they weren’t taking a break between songs to thank the crowd, their crew and the wonderful bands who they’ve shared this tour with – even giving a shout out to Holding Absence who were unable to make this date since it clashed with another tour. You can tell this band is grateful for the outpour of love and opportunities they’ve received in recent years since they dropped ‘Tekkno Train’ and we hope as they grow in popularity that they never change from the charismatic entertainers who don’t limit their creativity. It’s what makes them unique.

Forever captured in a photo that lives on in the minds and hearts of many, Electric Callboy gave us all a reason to turn down those extra hours of sleep in our old age to show up, rock out and enjoy life because in the end what is life but one big party?