Saturday, November 22, 2008

Local Kid - Fur Patrol

Fur Patrol's eagerly awaited third full album continues the (former) Wellingtonians unique sound sending the listener on a fantastic journey with some very nice laid back melodies while also throwing a few rocking numbers in to remind you that they are still a force to be reckoned with. Julia Deans' voice is what initially attracted me to Fur Patrol with an almost unmatched beauty while also being able to flip the coin and hurl out some real strength, in Local Kid this is largely unchanged albeit with increased emphasis on the laid back.

If you were only a fan of Fur Patrol's energetic Collider then this album may not be for you as it draws many similarities to 2000's Pet in that the vast majority of the tracks are fairly quiet, however in saying that 'Debt' and the single 'Hidden Agenda' really hark back to Collider's energy. 'Debt' especially contains a unique sense of cynical power and builds up to a great bridge that makes the song easily one of the best of the album. As mentioned above Local Kid is mostly a quiet album, which especially works in favour for Deans' voice as it gives it a beautiful vulnerability which is especially evident in the lonely bass-heavy 'Silences and Distances' and 'Little Fists'. Other great songs on this album that really do deserve mentioning includes 'Rondo' which contains melodies which seem to reach out longingly for your ears as well as 'Long Forlom' and 'Local Kid', the latter of which builds up very nicely thanks to a simple but powerful riff halfway through making it a suitable closer and a song needing to be witnessed live.

It's always great to hear a kiwi band still going strong after ten years, which after Shihad's disappointing Beautiful Machine is really saying something. Fur Patrol's Local Kid proves that it is possible for a band to embrace their old ways while still making great original music that doesn't sound all the same.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Myspace secret show: Fur Patrol with Tiny Paper Daggers

Myspace secret gigs are always great excuses to go out and see some of NZ's best bands, but are even better when they're free! This was the case with the myspace secret gig at the Dux De Luxe last night (4th of Movember) featuring Tiny Paper Daggers followed by Fur Patrol, headed by the foxxy Julia Deans.

Arriving there with friends we were a tad annoyed that the gig room was late in opening, but at least it allowed time for a few pints of the Dux's home tap beers (of which the Nor'Wester and Ginger Tom are definately something to try!). Time was killed between chatting with the other (not even) 100 or so punters from the very diverse crowd, getting hit on by a peculiar 50-something year old peddie with a crutch and watching brave birds swoop down and thief unguarded meals.

Finally when we were allowed in we were invited to help ourselves to a plethora of myspace freebies including keyrings, bumper stickers, bags and even retro yo-yos - ensuring that the more immature-minded audience members, including yours trully, had something to do waiting for the bands to get into it.

This did not take long thankfully with Christchurch locals (and Bishop Julius hall representitives) Tiny Paper Daggers promptly launching into a blend of electronic-rock awesomeness, keeping themselves composed despite being understandably nervous in supporting one of the biggest names in NZ rock for an entire generation. Each and every member showed great stage presence especially their ecstatic drummer who pounded away at a small set of electric drums with great facials through their entire set before stepping up to an actual kit for one song. Tiny Paper Daggers got the entire crowd pumping and dancing receiving a well deserved roar of approval after each of their songs, earning them to be a band that needs to be watched in the future.

After a twenty minute (or what felt like it) break giving punters a chance to talk amongst themselves and get a few more pints the mighty rock institution that is Fur Patrol made their mark on the Dux. The former Wellingtonians' set was great mix of songs mainly derived from their new album Local Kid but also included hits from old albums Collider and Pet performed with stellar ease and rock'n'roll rawness rivalled by very few bands from New Zealand. Highlights included an intense 'Precious' and 'Hidden Agenda' as well as 'Silences and Distances' dedicated by Julia Deans to her dad who she was amazed was still around toward the end of their set. By the time Fur Patrol wrapped up and thanked everyone for their support the crowd were calling out for an encore which came not in the form of Pet's mega-hit 'Lydia' but instead Collider's 'Get Along' held the honour, a little bit dissappointing but a great song to end the night on nonetheless. All up Fur Patrol proved that they can still rock as hard as they did in their Wellingtonian days and that their new material is just as great as their classic albums.

Also as a side note Fur Patrol lingered round the bar long after to sign autographs and sell copies of the Local Kid for only $20 (score!) as well as chat very friendly to their deserving fans, proving that they are still very appreciative of the support they get. And of course thanks myspace for putting on another wicked secret show, keep 'em coming!

Check out Fur Patrol at Southern Amp 2008 this coming Sunday (9th of Movember) performing at 8.40pm following the mighty Little Bushman!

Also check out the video for myspacetv to see me do the devil horns to the camera halfway through. Yeah!