Friday, May 13, 2011


Mental Note to Self: Catch this band again. I think it was the 4th Street Fest before last that I saw Fairmont the first time, and they blew me away. But the pix I took were god awful and I was writing some other blogs and ran out of adjectives.

One of the most original of the local bands gigging about, they have a big sound – U2ish, very Brian Eno-esque; they’re essentially a techno-tinged jam band, similar vibe to the Pyschedlic Furs or Echo and the Bunnymen. Their Spectorish Wall of Sound was produced without a bass – the ensemble consists of Guitar, drums, keyboard and an electric glockenspiel. Now there’s an instrument you rarely see played. This performer, a fawn-like, long-haired beauty who shares vocals with the guitarist mainly accents the song with her very deliberate notes. These well placed chimes, add tonal exuberance to the lush organ playing. Aurally it’s operatic in scope but the music itself is intimate and dreamlike, a romantic mood, bits of lyrics ... the world tears us apart, all we have is our hearts... or something like that. Wonderfully, entrancingly trippy. After a harder edged, snaky blues groove, third or fourth of the set, the guitarist announced that the drummer had a kidney problem that his catheter broke and he had to be taken to the hospital. How’s that for an original mood breaker! People were stunned. The wind was blowing, but the weather was still warmish and the sun was just about ready to set. Up until the sudden halt, the band sounded great, the audience was digging it. Groove on Grove is a challenging gig at best, the gaggle of people gathered are always outnumbered by the hordes of commuters ascending from the PATH. But to have the audience now stunned, wanting to know more, concerned about the drummer, then watching the drummer stand up slowly from his stool and sit at the back edge of the stage, wow. Abrupt shift from grooving to melody to shocked disbelief. What a wild moment. A few minutes later, the organizer and MC of GOG, said the drummer was all right. I’m not sure if he got the aid he needed there or was taken to the hospital. I-pod music came through the speakers, but the other musicians were hanging out and talking to their friends. Set cut short on account of kidney. True story! I hope the dude is okay but since there was a total absence of panic after the shocking announcement I suspect he is. A few good songs and the best glockenspiel I’ve heard all year! Well, electric glockenspiel, for sure.

Fairmont at Myspace

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