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Fantomas

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I've heard some odd intros over the years but last night was a new one for the books.
Wednesday, June 17th @ The Village, Dublin, Ireland.


Before Fantomas came out on stage the audience was subjected to a five minute recording of a man ranting about how much he hated a particular individual, making epic usage of the word "cocksucker" to reinforce his point. Then the band came out and took their positions on the tiny stage, Buzz Osbourne and Trevor Dunn forced to stand at the back of the stage due to most of the stage being filled by Terry Bozzio's monstrous drum kit, regular drummer Dave Lombardo was unable to play due to tour commitments with Slayer. Mike Patton stood opposite Bozzio behind two tables covered in all sorts of electronic goodies. From here he orchestrated the entire performance through a series of winks, hand gestures and motions with any available limb. The set covered three of Fantomas's studio albums, of course most of the material came from the current release Suspended Animation and absolutely nothing from last year's Delirium Cordia. The first two albums were well represented with "Page 29," "Cape Fear," and "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" being the obvious crowd pleasers. Although not everyone could be pleased, a substantial chunk of the audience left within the first fifteen minutes apparently expecting Faith No More. It was fascinating to see how a band like Fantomas works, I was expecting a mainly improvised set due to their songs being so manic but it turns out that their studio work is quite reproducible live. All of the instruments (including Patton's larynx) were fed through Patton's extensive effects chains. Sounds from Suspended Animation that I was expecting to be samples were in fact heavily processed drums. Similarly the guitar and bass was processed so much as to make them sound completely at odds with what you expect to come out of Buzz and Dunn's fingers. The all or nothing noise was as compelling as watching Patton himself as he flung himself around his little enclosure, swapping microphones between syllables and altering all of the music on the fly. There was very little to fault with Fantomas apart from a slightly muddy sound but The Village is a venue notorious for woeful sound due to its placing of the mixing desk upstairs and away from where most of the PA faces. Even with Bozzio's unfamiliarity with the material didn't interfere with the performance as his few mistakes were barely noticeable considering the context of Fantomas's music. Kudos to them for having the shortest encore ever, about one minute long and most of the crowd left like all their Christmasses came at once. - John Kealy
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 July 2005 06:36  


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