THE ASTOR THEATRE
Photos By Julian Neil
Sadly, I arrived more late than early at the Astor to catch the entire set by one of my all time favourite bands, The Fauves. I did, however, catch the final five songs in a show which, I am led to believe, was one that judiciously mixed in tunes from the band’s thirty-year career with those that appear on their latest record, a double album, Driveway Heart Attack.
Of five songs I did manage to hear from the position centre front of stage that I’d raced into on arrival, Nairobi Nights being the first, it would be rather dismissive to suggest The Fauves sounded tired. Instead, I’d like to take the opportunity, for the first time, to describe a band as louche, a definitive which I feel sure the band themselves would appreciate. Their final song for the night, Dogs Are The Best People, allowed them to kick out the jams.
Speaking of kicking out the jams, Japanese power trio Shonen Knife blitzed it with as much style and panache as they ever have, dressed fabulously in Mondrian-inspired dresses made by bassist Atsuko, but with decidedly greater musical skills than they’d had when I first saw them in Perth back in 1997.
Dylan Lewis starred in a pretty bloody funny introduction to the ‘Gurg’, before the band, bizarrely dressed in pompoms and black lycra, bounced out from side of stage. What an absolute pleasure it was to hear Regurgitator smashing songs of the band’s first two EPs “Hamburger” and New, the first part of their set dedicated to ‘recycling’ proto-hits such as Like It Like That, Couldn’t Do It and Blubber Boy.
Then came, readers, one of the most life-affirming things I have seen/heard since 2015 when I saw Johnny Young belting out ‘The Real Thing’. The demographic of the night’s audience was mixed with a twist towards a 30+ y.o. audience. That said, I noticed a few parents taking the opportunity offered by Astor’s family friendly atmosphere to bring underaged kids along. It was good to see parents passing the baton to their kids. Pogogo, anyone?
Indeed, between a stream of hits and a string of costume changes, video projections and industrial scale lighting magic, the rest of Regurgitator’s set turned into a bit of a blur for this reviewer. Some highlights of this blur included some belters like ‘F*ck The Goddamn World’, ‘I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff’, ‘Fat Cop’, ‘Polyester Girl’, and more.
I truly wish I could be more specific, slip in a shopping setlist for you to consume but, keeping in mind the massive nature of the band’s celebration of 25 years continually producing hit after hit, I’ll just say that you’d have loved it. Loved it!