Faker, Grafton Primary, Violent Soho @ The Zoo, Brisbane (16/05/08)
Once a band hits the charts the pressure is on to prove to their fans that they belong there, and with the repeated message given to the late-comers that the show was sold out, Faker smashed their fans with a performance that will leave none with any doubt of where these Aussies belong; right on top.
Outfits of bowties and puffy sleeves, high heels with socks and a pair of 90’s Reebok pumps are brought back to life by a mixed mass inside The Zoo. Violent Soho provides the perfect ice-breaker for the evening with their song Love is a Heavy Word from their upcoming debut album We Don’t Belong Here. There’s no hiding the bands influences, with sounds likened to early Nirvana, Viper, Sonic Youth and The Pixies. An onstage mosh pit showed their pure enjoyment of music and the band were transformed into a few mates having a blast. Punters couldn’t help but pull themselves away from the bar to watch this lively and animated performance and to stand mesmerized while they were taken back to the era of true trendsetters. Playing only one song from their EP ( My Generation ) and the rest being from their upcoming album, Violent Soho provided a truly mouth watering teaser to their debut album, released in June.
There’s an absolutely huge wave of bands thrashing out dance-music-with-vocal-track, with crowd-beaters like Pnau and the Presets leading the charge. Grafton Primary, opening with their tune In An Hour Glass , prove instantaneously that they are aiming at that same niche, with the lead vocalist, Joshua Garden, having the air of a performance poet about him. They have a fascinating array of electronic equipment – it was the first time this reviewer has ever actually seen a keytar live. Their influences vary from Daft Punk and Depeche Mode, through to Kraftwerk, The Pet Shop Boys and Madonna to name just a few. But overall, the music doesn’t quite add up to the sum of it’s parts. The crowd is left feeling slightly flat and there’s a general feeling of “We’ve seen this all before, and better” in the air. Grafton Primary also have an album coming out later this year, so hopefully they’ll have developed their own sound by then.
The eclectically dressed masses began to amble toward the stage to claim their respective positions for the eagerly anticipated performance of the night. Chomping at the bit and lively now, they all want their fix and the drug is Faker. The lights go down as a prelude to the main event and the crowd start a roar which drowns out the first sounds that pump from the stage. Opening with their song The Familiar from their debut album Addicted Romantic, lead singer Nathan Hudson showed the crowd an acrobatic display that saw him climbing the scaffolding around the stage, and leaping off speaker equipment. It’s appreciated that the man needs talent not only to rock this crowd, but to stay on the stage, surely to be eaten alive by men and women alike in the event of a fall.
Faker’s ability to communicate with the crowd and their seemingly absolute pleasure to perform was not lost, and it was virtually impossible to stand still; the urge to jig and bob had taken its hold on everyone. After a medley of slow paced tunes, the band step it back up with Dumb Mistakes from their latest album Be The Twilight, which begins a cult ritual within the horde of near crazed fans. Happy moshing: the art of dancing around, arms in the air, jumping into one another in sheer joy. Topping off the performance nicely Faker smashed out their greats Hurricane, Are You Magnetic? and finished on This Heart Attack, just when we were all wondering if they were going to leave us wanting. The Faker drug was administered in large doses and swallowed by fans whole heartedly.