Friday, July 01, 2005


+ Guests
The Swan Basement, North Fremantle. June 26, 2005.

Local outfit The Silents started as I arrived. The Basement was about half full as The Silents pumped out a tough and sexy set of their nouveau psychedelic-beat-rock. The backing vocals were at times washed away by the bright sound of the room. Despite this it was a tantalising display and a crowd that was about half full at the beginning of their set, swelled to a near full house by the end, simmering away enthusiastically.
Faker emerged on stage like a man possessed. A man like their lead singer Nathan Hudson. Hudson has a big dark voice that at times royles out softly, dripping with intent, but also reaches up in angst filled fingers waving and shakingt at the sky. And he did that often. Flicking his fingers around and pointing at his head, counting off beats, hand reaching up high. His Body contorting and twisting spasmodically at times, indeed my esteemed companion William Bowe (somtime genius music journo) commenteed that Ian curtis was back “in” in a big way. (“Here are the young men…”) Hudson wore a tight buttoned up shirt and severe looking thin black tie. A tie that he used to gently hang himself with several times during critical highs in the performance. During the song ‘Enough’, Hudson bounced of the red velvet clad walls, and briefly stood like a mountain climber, side on, suspended in the corner of the stage, before flinging himself, wild dervish like, back to the mic for another verse.
Hudson was given excellent support in Bassist Nick Munnings, who swayed back and forth from his mic and often appeared to mouth the words along with Hudson, as if in a trance. He would then briefly snap to attention and rejoin in the critical harmonies, such as during the superb ‘Teenage Werewolf’. Munnings has a controlled coolness that shone from his face throughout the set. Although there still seemed to be some problems with the levels on the backing vocals, Munning’s cool focus, his singing along and smooth movements forward to the mic provided a perfect counterbalance during Hudson’s frequent disappearances down into the crowd or his climbs up the rear corners of the stage.
The frenetic energy that Faker conjured throughout their set was held together masterfully on the flanks by Guitarists Phil Downing and Stefan Gregory who were mostly fairly static on the far left and rights respectively. Of the back line engineroom, I couldn’t really see drummer Paul Berryman, but when I caught glimpses of him he was all focus ‘doin the business’ hunched over, coiled up and locked in. Guitarist Downing seemed on a couple of occasions as if he too, might explode off the stage, or crash into the walls as he tore up on ‘in-the-slot-riffs’ and intense climaxes, that were features of such songs as the brilliant ‘Quarter To Three’, ‘Bodies’ and ‘Teenage Werewolf’ . Both Guitarist’s playing during the latter song was so superb that it made me proud to be witnessing such a celebration of Aussie music, and to a full house on a Sunday night no less! Faker absolutely nailed this gig. It was evocative, and energetic. Dark at times thoughtful, pained and passionate at others. Songs such as ‘Quarter To Three’,‘Werewolf', ‘Kids On Overload’, ‘The Familiar’ and ‘Love For Sale’ were all highlights within a set that demonstrated the confidence and certainty of a band that has by all accounts, “taken it’s time to solidify”, but that is now clicking with a live set that must put them high amongst the best acts in Australia. Tonight was a clear validation of that time spent by Faker in “getting it right”. There is rarely an idle moment with Faker and scarcely a wasted song. If you can’t see them live their debut album ‘Addicted Romantic’, (EMI) is a significant document of an Australian band that has truly arrived. Masterful.

Listening to:

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