Tonight’s set is fraught with problems but oddly these are so often the best nights from an audience point of view, and it isn’t down to schadenfreude. (Trust the German’s to have a word for taking pleasure in the misery of others, eh?) A band attempting to triumph over adversity tend to show that live spark they’ve often lost after nine gigs of the same set in as many weeks.
So tonight we witness The Faculty on blistering form despite Nick’s pedal power units blowing up in the sound check and losing a string in the opening track. An opening track, I should point out, that is sublime. Gone is Sombre Honeymoon’s stark echo guitar chord intro: instead we get the sort of building noise with washing cymbals found on Sonic Youth albums, and it’s not rushed either, taking maybe a couple of minutes to set the mood and get the audience’s anticipation up.
Nick elects to bash straight on with the next song, Messages, without sorting out his guitar woes and the band burn into it. After that it’s clear he’s going to need to restring and this turns out to be a mission (that’s the only string he hasn’t got; frantic search; one band has the appropriate string; Nick just can’t get it in the hole, you know the sort of thing) so they launch into a work in progress which is clearly going to sound quite spectacular when it’s finished. In present form it’s sounding like some sort of faintly psychadelic instrumental.
With no guitar string being sorted (and no spare guitar: Nick’s a southpaw, left-strung too) they go straight to the final two songs: The edgy Alexanderplatz and the epic instrumental of Valediction. This final track is a huge piece very much in the style of Joy Division, but a clever morphing piece, beginning with a repeating guitar phrasing rising and crashing until finally the guitars are providing merely textures and the bass is pulling the song’s melody together.
[url]http://www.myspace.com/faculette[/url] will let you sample four of the songs mentioned above.
Also see here: [url]http://ishotthedeputy.com/?q=node/138[/url] for our interview with the band from late last year.