Tilllate Magazine

Chet Faker @ O2 ABC, Glasgow



What is the word for something that makes you feel simultaneously completely chilled out as well as spine-tinglingly excited? Its one that I’ve been searching for over the past few days, since watching Chet Faker at the O2 ABC in Glasgow (the gig was moved from the Art School due to the high demand for sales). I feel that these types of contradictions are the best types; one that makes you double-back on yourself, reviewing your memories of a particular time to make sure that you were definitely feeling what everyone else was feeling. Was it chilled out jazz vibes? Or excited electronica beats? Were we meant to be dancing, or just standing? Were we stuck in limbo between? Seeing Chet Faker was most definitely one of those experiences.

Massively talented, yet quietly so, Faker – real name Nick Murphy – oscillated his set between mellow, chilled tracks to soul-filled sing-a-longs and electronia numbers that wheedled their way underneath your skin and made you want to dance.

A soundboard that is not to be competed with, he proved himself as massively competent in terms of musicality, seamlessly transitioning between his Rhodes keyboard, electric fender guitar, and his mixing deck. Accompanied merely by a guitarist and a drummer, the set incorporated lighting so well that the gig became an audio-visual experience, particularly with the finishing song Talk is Cheap that ended with just Faker on the keyboard, his silhouette illuminated by a single spotlight and the whole crowd singing along, completely enraptured by his performance. There wasn’t a single whisper ushered in the room.

Faker is indeed an energetic and captivating performer. His long set, which incorporated much-loved favourites, 1998, To Me and Talk is Cheap as well as Van Morrison cover Moonshine and No Diggity was exciting and entertaining from beginning to end.

Unafraid to be vocal with the audience, Faker asked for all phones to be put away for No Diggity, giving us permission to ‘just slap it out their hands’ if we saw anyone failing to comply, reminding us to live the experience for what it was.

Faker was chatty and connected well, never in the same place for long. The winner of the night was definitely To Me, where he created the main riff using his voice on loop, repeating ‘you keep calling’ and showing the layers of depth that form his music. On top of creating a great build up to the ultimate climax,

it made the beauty of the simplicity in his lyrics shine: ‘you keep on lying to me’ ‘you’re giving it all for nothing, I know’ ‘talk is cheap my darling’ and ‘I wanna kiss your knees and try to be bold.’

Faker is one of those interesting artists. Once a bedroom producer, he now tours extensively and holds five ARIA awards under his belt. His performance at the ABC defines exactly why; he belongs to a new breed of musician; the type that harks back to the old days of gigs that weren’t seen through the lens of an iPhone camera, where real instruments were played on stage and where loops were built from scratch, in front of an audiences eyes. He deserves to be the one to watch for 2015.

Words: Carla Jenkins


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