Borderline – March 31st
Johnny Foreigner seem genuinely shocked by the turnout at the Borderline tonight; in an entirely positive way. The place is absolutely rammed. “Since when did we become so popular?” queries singer Alexei Berrow at one point, causing audience members to look at one another in a bemusing fashion; “What does he mean? How could Johnny Foreigner not be popular??” Indeed, their fans tend to be that rare, all or nothing, devout follower, almost cult-ish in nature, that could never possibly comprehend a world in which Johnny Foreigner were not the GREATEST. BAND. EVER.
But hey, it’s a wonderful thing to witness. Prior to tonight, the mosh-pit was a damn near extinct fixture at any London show. Not for Johnny Foreigner. On the contrary, it appears to be making a comeback of sorts, with diminutive adolescents sharing their first pit experience with more elderly seasoned veterans; a truly fascinating site.
And let’s be honest, the band deserve this level of adulation. They pour their heart and soul into every single song tonight, opting for a well-balanced mix of old and new. ‘Le Sigh’, a clear favourite from latest album You Can Do Better, is performed with the energy and attitude of an overzealous teenage punk band, but the technical finesse of a classically trained pro. Great combo. It sends the moshers into an absolute frenzy as well. Mind you, old mainstay ‘Our Bipolar Friends/The Houseparty Scene Is Killing You’ is met with equal aplomb, reminding us all just what a hefty back catalogue they possess.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that this is a band on their fifth full length now. Within that time, Johnny Foreigner have accrued their fair share of die-hard fans. That’s somewhat expected. But from looking at the audience tonight, what’s most impressive is seeing a sizeable amount of the younger population taking them to heart as well, proving that – despite the band’s own protestations – they’re probably still as relevant, and popular, as ever.