Fazerdaze + Ider
Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton
October 6 2017
Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox
On a mild October evening, Brighton's Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar was a make-for point as New Zealander Fazerdaze, the solo project of Amelia Murray (though joined live on this current global tour by a three-piece band), returned to the town after her appearance at The Great Escape in May, to give another performance of captivating, hazy dreampop.
Preceding Fazerdaze on stage are North London duo Ider. Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville seem to have cornered the UK market in dreamy pop synths and electronic beats. Lily's rich vocal is the standout here, blending well with the synth tones; partner Meg on bass and percussion, providing the perfect harmonious accompaniment with lower register. The crowd took to these girls like their own daughters and were soon owning the floor dancing to the atmospheric set, covering songs off their debut EP, 'Gut Me Like An Animal', and closing on ‘GMLAA’, sung a capella, and which was rightly rewarded with warm applause for their great set.
It's not long before headliner Fazerdaze takes to the stage, where Amelia and her three comrades waft through a dreamily crafted set of 14 shoegaze layered pop tunes. Kicking off on a slow start of ‘Half Figured’ and ‘Break Your Walls’, the crowd settle into a false belief of how this gig is going to go. Amelia’s skill as musician and lyricist is quite evident, with the ability to craft emotional lyrics delivered with the innocence of her voice. Quite a powerful thing.
‘Bedroom Talks’ is the first number, just short of midway through, that takes this set to the pop jangle level, with its spacey, trippy vibes appealing to the dancing crowd. Amelia, seeming to enjoy the Brighton hospitality and reception, presents a quiet, somewhat self-effacing persona as though she feels she doesn’t belong there; like a child who needs the praise, I can say with hand on heart, this lady deserves that stage and adulation.
Personal favourites ‘Reel’ with its ambient chords and floaty voices, ‘Shoulders’ which tears at your heart like all melancholy songs should achieve, are followed by ‘Lucky Girl’. This relentless steam train of drum machine from Ollie O’Loughlin and Benjamin Tindall on synths and guitar, made sure all the beeps and boops were in the right place and created an effortless sound.
Penultimate set number ‘Somethink’, which she performs solo, using just guitar looping and her voice - and is a stirring further testament to her musicianship and was rightly rewarded by a big round of applause - before giving way to closer ‘Little Uneasy’. Leaving a warm feeling throughout the crowd as she departs - perhaps none less than in the young guy who had come over from Dublin to see her, and was rewarded with a song dedication - to make her way up to Manchester for a festival the next day, it is hoped Ms Murray doesn't leave it too long before she returns to these Sussex shores again.