Live Review: The Fuzz CD Launch @ Amplifier

The Fuzz ’100′ Demons CD Launch
w/Kill Devil Hills, The Volcanics, Schvendes, The Arachnids, One Horse Town
Amplifier Bar
Friday 21st October, 2005
Review/Photos By Dylan McArdle

I love CD launches, they are great in that they bring together all sorts of weird and wonderful people – from the casual observer to the hardcore fan (and everyone in-between). There’s always so much more atmosphere and anticipation (towards the end of the night) that isn’t there in a regular gig. Friday night’s “100 Demons” CD Launch event from The Fuzz was no exception.

I’ve been looking forward to this launch since I saw the “larger than life” posters advertising this event some weeks ago. Having six bands on the bill and two stages, I can’t remember a bigger launch in Perth this year. I’ve been particularly interested in The Fuzz since they played excellent support sets to the touring Peabody at the beginning of this month.

The night kicked of with ONE HORSE TOWN performing an admirable job off filling the tough opening spot. Unashamedly, I’m a BIG fan of this band so I have nothing but praise for their performance. I guess having seen them quite a few times lately meant there were no real surprises in their set, though they did finish with a new track. The only real noticeable change is that Ronan is experimenting more and more with his keyboards as heard when they played “Information”. It was nice to see the small crowd that turned up early show some appreciation towards the end of the set.

With the bands playing back-to-back it was straight inside to here THE ARACHNIDS. With a “let’s rock” and an “oh yeah!” these guys turned up the volume to 11 and played they only way they know -fast and furious. This threesome have impressed me before with their combination of pure rock and roll with a hint of classic blues thrown in the mix. The lead singer has quite a deep voice which adds to the bluesy rhythm they bash out. In amongst all the fast paced tuned the guys managed to throw an slow on in for good measure. It was a shame more people were around to witness this performance.

I suppose the good reason why more people weren’t inside was that a large-ish crowd had built up to witness a very different style of music in the form of SCHVENDES. It’s hard to really pin-point why style of music these guys play, but let’s just say it’s unique an interesting. The small stage that was setup as you walk in was fairly cramped for a band that has a keyboard and a violin player. We went from one powerful performance to another, but this time it was the sultry vocals of Rachael Dease that sends shivers down my spine. It felt a bit weird seeing people dance to their music as I guess I just wanted to stand their and soak up all the atmosphere that echoed from the stage. “Small Mercies” is a track that highlight all that is good with Dease’s voice. I do like the drummers use of different type of drumsticks too, switching from simple percussion to that 50′s big-band sound.

The wild change in musical genres continued, with THE VOLCANICS taking centre stage. Along the lines of The Arachnids, they are loud and electrifying and I have never seen them put in a poor performance. Frontman John Phatouros is crazy and unpredictable in his delivery at the helm of the show and he makes the rest of the band look rather tame in comparison. He’s always jumping or headbanging or throwing the microphone stand around (which seems to be his favourite prop of choice). Once again, John gave an over eager photographer his marching orders mid way through the set. While some may label them as predictable, I don’t think I’ve seem them play since the “Light the Fuse” launches, so it was good to hear the familiar rocking tunes being belted out in the way only The Volcanics can do.

I think The KILL DEVIL HILLS must have the largest and loyalist following of any Perth band and as such it was a fight to get close to the small stage out back to witness them play. There was hardly an inch of free space of the stage left with all the members of the band and different instruments. I felt like I was at a country dance, because everyone was alive an on their feet. Time is often tight when there’s a large number of bands on the bill, and I think the Kill Devil Hills could have kept going on and on for much longer, much to the crowd’s delight. Not once but twice did the lights go out and the music stop at the clock approached midnight. The band gave into the wishes of the crowd and played what was almost an encore and with all the jumping and feet tapping it was a fitting finish to a popular and well received set.

It was quite possible that many punters could have ended their night on that (high) note, but quickly we were reminded why we were here tonight, and that was to witness THE FUZZ launch their fourth release ’100 Demons’. Once again (as with the other bands on the main stage) it was a return to simple but powerful formula that is rock ‘n’ roll. Although not all eyes were on stage (as two girls were madly pashing away much to the delight of a number of young men), those who keep their eyes and ears pointed forward witnessed a performance worthy of a CD launch. It was a night where female vocalists came to the fore, and Abbe May is certainly amongst the cream of the crop. She gave 110% percent with her vocals, she jumped up and down the stage like a woman possessed and she drunk beer than punters gave her. Some bands look out of place on a larger stage or you know that they’ll never reach the giddy heights of a CD launch again, but The Fuzz looked right at home in front of the big crowd. As I have said before, this four piece actually look like they’re enjoying every minute of being in the limelight and that was the case once again tonight. If the first forty or so minutes of the set didn’t blow you away with the power and guts of the band, the “come back for more” encore (that they squeezed in before the 1am finish) just left enough of a taste in my mind to want to see The Fuzz again.

This was a launch of epic proportions and with the year fastly drawing to a close, it will take a lot to top a night like this.

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