Phoenix Foundation (Live) Review

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Phoenix Foundation with Cassette- Friday 15th of Sept at San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington
Wellington’s favourite indie sons returned home last Friday to play a one off show at the Bathhouse. The gig was part of the biannual Phoenix Foundation/ Cassette tour. More importantly it was Phoenix Foundations last gig at home before heading to New York to pursue a record contract.
First observation made as we stepped into the Bathhouse was that of the older crowd that had gathered. Oh my god we actually felt young. That feeling didn’t last long, when Cassette took the stage at around 10pm younger people appeared in droves. Cassette played a good long set, running through most of the songs from their debut album. I was very impressed with their polished sound, it made for very easily listening (I had a bout of the flu so wasn’t in the mood for anything too wild). The only thing that let them down was the constant crowd banter, sure they were playing to their home crowd and probably had heaps of friends on site, but they talked way too much, saying "Fuck" more times than really necessary. That aside, Cassette went down great, if they were playing with any other local band they would have headlined.
Phoenix Foundation took the stage and immediately showed why they are New Zealand’s premier indie group. Greeting the crowd and announcing they would be using this gig to introduce a number of new songs, all ready to be recorded on the bands upcoming third album. The new songs went down extremely well with the crowd. Being more guitar driven than their previous work, they sounded very stripped down and raw. Of course they still played the crowd favourites ‘Slight Shift in the Weather’, ‘Gone Fishing’ and the Luke Budda original ‘Freaky Dance’. My personal favourite from the set was an amazing rendition of the instrumental track ‘Hitchcock’. There is something about keyboards that make me blush, and Luke Budda’s keys on this song were mind boggling. The Phoenix Foundation live experience was something very special; the guys performed an intimate set for their home fans. Sam Flynn Scott’s charismatic personality lead the group perfectly and it was great to see a band looking so relaxed on stage. Hopefully the new songs we got the privilege of hearing sound just as good when recorded.


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