Standing beneath

Standing beneath

Standing beneath a tree in the churchyard of St James’, Clerkenwell, currently having their pictures taken is Friends.

Not our mates or, dare we even mention it, those shockingly wealthy actors from the TV series, but five hiply dishevelled Brooklyners who make fun, percussion-filled pop music.

Suddenly Samantha Urbani, the frontwoman of the troupe, who has green eyelashes at the moment, paired with ripped fishnets and sequinned plimsolls,

screams and rushes past our unwitting photographer to their manager Steve, who is holding a freshly pressed copy of the band’s new seven inch ‘I’m His Girl’.

Grabbing it from him, she slowly slides out the record and waves it around audaciously, while pretending to lick it.

This ought to give you a good idea of the sort of band Friends are. Ranging from their mid-twenties to early thirties, this outfit of former squat-dwelling misfits are Matt Molnar on synths,

percussion, bass and guitar; Nikki Shapiro behind the keys and guitar; drummer Oliver Duncan; Lesley Hann doing a bit of everything,

Standing beneath but mostly bass and backing vocals; and the bubbly Urbani, who sings and “dances a few groovy moves”.

“I play my body,” she drawls demurely, failing to keep a grin from bursting across her face. “Everybody plays everything except for me.”

During the live show, they’re a sensual cacophony.

While the rest of the band swap instruments – so frequently that Duncan doesn’t even sit down – Urbani whips around the audience,

grinding alongside both those willing and unwilling, the latter frozen to the spot and looking in any direction

other than the skimpily clad nymph rubbing against their leg.

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