Faster Hammers

I just got home from seeing the Fiery Furnaces – one of the few bands that I own every CD of (some I think illegally). It was good, but it was not as good as I’d hoped – where were the pianos, or even the keyboards? That’s the problem with turning a two person studio band into a 4 person rock act . Despite the slightly indulgent wizardry of Matthew Friedberger who spent a regular parts of his set doing sonic impersonations of the Melbourne spaceman busker, a few of the songs felt a little flat and atonal. It didn’t help that sister Eleanor (who so resembled an overly tight-jeaned daggy 80’s version of my own sister, that I realised that unbelievably, it’s a cultivated, must-have look nowdays) had a cold and announced it a number of times. Then they had a little gripe about the feedback, and a mention of how quiet the crowd was. It didn’t seem to be going terrifically in Furnace land. But, I thought the crowd was good hearted, they clapped to the end, and the band did a 8 song encore, including a great version of Slavin’ Away, and some decent Bitter Tea songs like Waiting to Know You. I’m glad I went, – the crowd was fairly young, and they all had lots of hair, speaking of which, I saw Julian Wu up the front taking his photos. But if you didn’t know all the songs I imagine you’d have been lost amongst the restless 20 second song medleys and electro bleeps of these theatrical folks from Illinois. I hope the couple with headbands who were pashing on mid-set in front of me got home safely and recover from their night out on Ecstasy – they were having a ball!