Live Review: Chet Faker at Goodgod

30 April 2012 | 8:20 pm | Celline Narinli

Murphy is a creative force so sure of his style and carries a uniqueness that’ll push him to the top of the Australian music scene.

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The crowd flocked to the stage – like moths to a light – as soon as opener Flume released his finger from the synth pad to reveal the introductory beat of his magnificent set. This abrupt migration was bewildering, but created a great atmosphere, especially once the crowd became completely involved with the music produced from the Sydney beatsmith. His mature arrangement of samples, hip hop and electronica made for a surreal and otherworldly experience.

One of this reviewer's biggest pet hates is when people talk through the entire duration of a gig that they've paid to go and see. Chet Faker's sold out EP launch had a bad case of the rowdy crowd, to the point where you couldn't hear the impressive layers and intricacies of his music. This, coupled with technical difficulties that affected the amplification of his vocals, the rude and obnoxious audience chatter drowned out a lot of the sound.

Chet Faker's (real name Nick Murphy) sound and style have been associated with a lot of sensual words, most notably sex, beats and downtempo r'n'b. But tonight, punters saw him diversify his style and arrangements a little more into jazzier avenues as he was backed by a full band. Cigarettes And Chocolate – as Murphy stated “are two of my favourite things” – opened his set and was probably the perfect choice as it provided a smooth transition from the sounds just heard from Flume.

An interesting facet of his performance was the inclusion of an acoustic drum set. If you're familiar with his EP, acoustic is the last word you'd use to describe it, especially on the percussion side of things, as he mostly uses synth pads/percussion. This worked, but at times also didn't. It was refreshing to hear a raw percussive drive (during songs like No Diggity), but then at other times (like I'm Into You) it just didn't provide punters with that oomph (and natural percussive groove) that is so well executed on the record. Grooving to the soulful '90s Blackstreet cover and singing along to the “doo-doo-doo-doo” of I'm Into You, the crowd however proved to be worthwhile in the end.

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Love And Feeling was a standout live, its soaring and desperate vocals in the chorus challenging the roaring crowd. Murphy is a creative force so sure of his style and carries a uniqueness that'll push him to the top of the Australian music scene.