Monday at the Hug and Pint – Fazerdaze live

Work is extremely daft at the minute – so daft in fact that I’ve had to pass up the opportunity to see two special shows in the last few days  – the Wozniak album launch in Edinburgh on Friday and Fazerdaze’s first ever UK headline show in Glasgow on Monday. And there’s an extremely good chance that I’ll miss Spare Snare in Dundee on Friday too.

Fortunately, Twitter pal Scott Wilson WAS in attendance at the Hug and Pint on Monday and he’s graciously provided MPT with the following account and pics of the show. Over to Scott.

I first heard Fazerdaze on SoundCloud back in early 2016 and was smitten by the track “Zero”.

Upon investigation I discovered that Fazerdaze is actually Amelia Murray who hails from Auckland in New Zealand, and resigned myself to probably never seeing her perform live.

However in June 2016 Amelia and her band came to the UK to promote the Fazerdaze EP, on the back of a support slot for a band called Big Deal.  On June 8th I was lucky enough to see them perform at Sneaky Pete’s, an intimate venue in Edinburgh’s old town, and immediately fell in love with their guitar and bass driven, but somehow languid, dream pop.

Keeping track of Amelia’s output, I learned that she and her band were doing a 2017 UK and Europe tour to promote the new album “Morningside” (named after a suburb of Auckland), and one of the dates was Glasgow. Not only that, but the Glasgow set would be their first ever UK headline gig.

So Monday May 1st found me and my gig buddy in the lovely little venue “Hug and Pint” eagerly awaiting Fazerdaze to take the stage and hear the new songs (‘Morningside’ released 5th May)

At about 22:10 Amelia, Mark Perkins (guitar & keys), Ben Locke (bass) and Elliot Francis (drums) took to the stage to a very warm welcome.  After some shy “hellos” they launched into Half-Figured from the new album. A guitar intro reminiscent of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” for just a chord or two, lots of Amelia echo, and lovely backing vocals from the guys. My first new track taster.

Next up was Reel, one of the tracks from the earlier EP. The sound was great, guitar, some synth, bass and drums all creating that signature swirling sound framing Amelia’s vocals.

Before kicking off the next song, Amelia requested that crowd move forward to fill the small space between the front row and the low stage. The crowd duly shuffled forward and a quick glance back showed that the venue was about ¾ full. Not bad for a late Monday night when there were at least two other local gigs close by.

Lucky Girl was next, and what a glorious sound. The crowd were appreciative and sang along.

Amelia talked about how pleased they were to be back in Scotland, and how nice the weather was. The band all chimed in “Yeah it was good the last time too”, “We thought the weather in Scotland was supposed to be bad”. The crowd shouted out “just stay” and “come more often”.

Amelia then said, “The next song is a quiet one. Normally we ask the audience to quieten down, but you guys are all so quiet already” Cue lots of whoops and whistles from the Glasgow crowd trying to re-establish their reputation.

The quiet tune was “Bedroom Talks” from the new LP. Slow synth with bass beat and characteristic swooning vocals. You could have heard a pin drop, until the final fade out and the switch straight into the next song. The crowd recognised the unmistakable start of the next song. It was Jennifer and a small cheer went up.

The mix of old and new worked well, and all the new songs sounded great on first hearing – can’t wait to listen to them at more length once I get my hastily purchased vinyl home and get some peace and quiet.

Amelia and band seemed relaxed and their recent gigging on the other side of the planet, followed by some dates in the south of the UK had left them sounding well practised and, to use the old cliché, very tight. Amelia’s voice sounded so pure and effortless, the whole set simply worked really well.

Standout tracks for me on the night were Lucky Girl, Bedroom Talks, Shoulders and Half-Figured, but I actually loved them all.

The gig finished with Last To Sleep and there was no encore – it was just after the 23:00 curfew, I guess.

Time for a quick chat afterwards, and Amelia shared that the band were loving the travel, but they had a day off before the long van-drive to Bristol for the gig on the 3rd May.

“We’ll be back” she said, and I really do hope so.

Setlist (from memory)

  1. Half-Figured
  2. Reel
  3. Lucky Girl
  4. Bedroom Talks
  5. Jennifer
  6. Misread
  7. Friends
  8. Shoulders
  9. Heavenly Sweet
  10. Little Uneasy
  11. Last To Sleep

All Fazerdaze tracks can be streamed or purchased here.

Big thanks to Scott for his excellent words and pics – hopefully next time Fazerdaze are in Scotland, we’ll both manage along!