Thursday, July 06, 2006

fiery furnaces @ the schooner tavern. 05/07/06

hey, well the gig last night was AWESOME.

it was at a (relatively new) venue in auckland called the schooner - a long narrow room with a nautical theme!
i missed the first opening act coco solid but arrived in time to catch auckland band the whipping cats. these guys played a really nice bluesy rock set on a smaller stage halfway down the room. this was cool as the fiery furnaces got to set up on the main stage at the end so there was hardly any waiting in between the two sets.
the fiery furnaces were just awesome. i found their live show surprising in that there were no keyboards/organs, and these play a very central part in all of their albums (in particular their latest effort bitter tea). instead we were treated with a much more guitar-driven set, featuring (of course) matthew and eleanor friedberger (both on guitar), with two touring members jason lowenstein (on bass), and bob d'amico (on drums).
one thing that was similar to their recordings was their musical experimentation - they take a song, deconstruct it, speed it up/slow it down, change the rhythm and produce a brand new (but still familiar) product.
eleanor personified the tough female rockstar, she constantly reminded me of sonic youth's kim gordon or perhaps a younger (and slightly less abrasive) patti smith! she rocked out well (especially considering she had a cold), as did matthew who had a pedal which made his guitar sound like an alien ray-gun (which is possibly the best thing anyone has ever invented!)
they performed a variety of tracks from their rather prolific catalogue - off the new album bitter tea highlights included "i'm in no mood", "blackhearted boy", "waiting to know you" and a vaguely reggae(!) styled "police sweater blood vow" (this sounds bad but it was actually awesome). other highlights included "quay cur", "crystal clear", "south is only a home", and "tropical iceland". finally, to cap off what was a very enjoyable encore, they played "don't dance her down", one of my favourite fiery furnaces tracks, and one i definitely wasn't expecting.

here are a couple of snaps i took!

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THEN on friday i went to the cassette album release party at the dog's bollix. based on the venue name, i was sort of expecting some sleazy drunken pub venue but it was actually really cool. nice and intimate with a sunken stage and small booths around the dancefloor.
lawrence arabia opened and really exceeded my already high expectations! at times he sounded like he was with a full band as he provided his own percussion (stomping), accompaniment (kazoo!!!!) and of course his guitar and vocals. you should all try and catch him at the media club this friday. it's only 5 bucks.
cassette were pretty cool too. nice and laidback - reminded me of those 70s soft rock bands but also had a tinge of


so i just got back from auckland so haven't had much time to get NEW STUFF, but we'll see how it goes. hope yr all good. and stuff!

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