Faust in Newcastle

Ned Netherwood

Alive, 14 Nov 2005

Review of Faust live at the Newcastle Academy, 8th November 2005

Ectogram are a very psychedelic band from Wales. They're signed to Ankst, the label that gave us Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Super Furry Animals, so my expectations for them were very high. Luckily, so was their music. Due to the large size of Faust's kit and the small size of the stage, the drummer was set up down in front of the stage. He was definitely enjoying his moment in the spotlight, whipping up a storm on his kit ably backed by the two guitarists. Ectogram are definitely ones to watch.

FaustWhen did it become exciting to see a band from 30 years ago play live? Well, take the two most catalytic, personable members of legendary krautrock band Faust. Then take the two leading multi-instrumentalists from modern French post-rock band Ulan Bator. Put the four of them together, get them to play lots of new material and a few re-invented classics and 'Hey Presto!' you have something as fresh and enjoyable as anything else around.

Set ListJean-Hervé Peron makes the perfect front man, playing bass and guitar simultaneously thanks to a twin-necked beast whilst drummer Zappi, definitely over the 6ft mark, plays his kit standing up in the middle of the stage bringing more power and personality to the drum kit than anyone else. There are some mad moments: Jean-Hervé ironing an audience member's shirt while Zappi throws metal bars off the front of the stage and sparks up an angle grinder. Then there's the local fire brigade marching band sneaking up on us from the back to jam with Faust. However, this is no circus; it is an avant-garde rock and roll band in full throttle. People down the front are dancing away, swinging their hips and banging their heads.

Zappi's drumming is so spectacular that people can't help but dance. On the other hand, Jean-Hervé and the new members whip up a furious guitar storm sometimes as heavy as any rock band. The gig was dazzling, startling and very surprising. When did it become exciting to see a band from 30 years ago play live? When that band is Faust. Just as enjoyable as Arctic Monkeys!

Ned Netherwood, "Faust in Newcastle", Alive 2005

ref: Alive