Hemingway were chill, commanding rhythmic dominion over the kingdom that had gathered to sway before them at The Zoo in Brisbane (4 August).
The ethereal sounds of the band perfectly describe the cover artwork of their latest EP, 'Mystic Kingdom': with smooth rolling hills, leading to a hovering celestial paradise, glowing cyan and magenta while the peasants gaze on.
To behold Hemingway is an aspiration of cordial inspiration, a Medicine Man’s fairy floss ingested through the auricles.
'The Muppets' theme song plays as Cheap Fakes assemble themselves onstage, ready for the theatrical delivery of the new territory they’ve launched into with their fourth album, ‘Deep Space’.
Rollicking, frolicking, swaying grooves like the best kind of faux leather adorn the airspace. These lads are class and brass, smooth and fast. A sports jacket and aqua Strat never looked so good, hovering between a pair of pluggers and colossal mythological horns.
Frontman Hayden Andrews later explained the horns by saying: “I always wanted to know what it felt like to be in the horn section.”
As you’d expect on the journey into ‘Deep Space’, there are some early explosions and then a time of coasting, when we come into ‘I Got Nothing’ territory.
During their most streamed track, ‘Sand On The Beach’, the trip manifests as pristinely engineered harmonies from Hayden and guitarist Scott French, machined around the alloy fusion of sax and trumpet teeming through the atmosphere.
Ben Hack is a no-horns required, funkalicious, fawn-worthy beast on the bass. His brother, internationally renowned guitarist, composer and online instructor Toby Hack makes a cameo appearance as Hayden hands him the Strat.
Aaron McCabe, Cheap Fakes’ former drummer, is later invited to partake as the star-filled odyssey enters another dimension of one, hectic display of sharing a drum kit between friends.
Current stickman Sam Mitchell has been a vicious time machine throughout the set, and politely vacates the throne for the nostalgic occasion adding cymbals for some of the joint beat-meteor shower, and relinquishing the spotlight altogether for Aaron’s constellation to shine once more among his old galaxy in a solo to end all space races.
In ‘Goon Va Doon’, trumpet player Scotty Bignell continues to use the synth to simultaneously harmonise with himself, before the hollow Epiphone solo in guitarist Scott’s magical hands is moulded into a reinterpretation of the same shapes in a different species: what exactly does a chameleon look like in outer space?
Maybe shape-shifter Andrew Ball on saxophone could answer that, casually dropping his sleek manoeuvres and brilliant palette all over the launch pad. The track is laden with fake landings and finally closes, before they stop off on the planet ‘Touch n Go’, their 2017 single from this current album.
They just may have reached this ‘Deep Space’ they talk about. Building a new world of characters, christened in the stardust of their previous edifice. To infinity…
Cheap Fakes play in Selinas 24 August and The Record Crate 25 August (both in Sydney), and Beach Hotel (Byron Bay) 14 September.