Live in Plymouth

Steve Peacock

Sounds, 2 Jun 1973

I've no clear idea of what was going on at this concert at all. Faust, hardly the most publicised of bands, appeear suddenly at Plymouth Town Hall on a Saturday night, take the stage amid a spider's web of leads and wires, play for over two hours in acoustics that swallow half their sound, and then just stop - only to be called back by an audience, jiving in the aisles, for a durther twenty minutes of improvised encore.

'Danke schon' says Jean Hervé-Péron, cautiously.

"More!", says the audience, stamping it's many feet.

I don't get it.

Plymouth is only the sixth gig Faust have ever played. Masters of the studio, they've been trying to work out how to play their music live for nearly two years and the set they're doing now is still only a rough stab at it. Obviously nervous, the group didn't attempt any of their more complicated material and performed what they did attempt rather shakily. They have no stage 'presence' at all and spent much time between numbers tuning up or fiddling around with the 'black boxes' with which they control and mix their own sound. The audience really dug them.

I could understand the attraction of their live electronics: the opening ten minutes played by Hans Joachim Irmler and Gunter Gunter Wüsthoff from behind a heap of consoes at the back, were vital and fascinating. I was as impressed as anybody by It's a Rainy Day (Sunshine Girl) which, on record, doesn't get off the ground (sic), but here seemed to be the nearest music will ever get to pure energy. "Zappa" (sic) Diermaier pounded on his phased dums...

Steve Peacock, "Live in Plymouth", Sounds 1973