Review: The Fauves @ Crowbar (Sydney)

The Fauves played Crowbar Sydney on 14 October, 2023.
Bron is a Melbourne-based science journalist who loves to return 'home' to a band room any chance she gets. She has 25 years' experience and has worked for Rolling Stone, Blunt, The Sydney Morning Herald, JUICE and many more.

Melbourne's The Fauves may not play that often these days, but for fans that have been onboard since their 1993 debut album 'Drive Through Cinema', the chance to see the band play two of their early records in full was more than enough of a reason to book a babysitter for the night.

Fittingly, Custard's frontman Dave McCormack opened proceedings (14 October) with a short but fun set, in front of a busy Crowbar band room. (Side note: This reviewer's first all-ages gig was Custard and The Fauves at PCYC Parramatta.)

That busy room became much busier for the headline act, who were set to play their late '90s records, 'Future Spa' and 'Lazy Highways', in full.

With frontman Andy Cox, resplendent in polyester red trousers, directing the night, it almost didn't matter what the band played. And, like a comforting blanket, his banter with the Doctor (real name Philip Leonard) was a joy.

First up, the band rolled out 1998's 'Lazy Highways' in full, and it's a record that has some of their best – 'Surf City Limits' and 'The Charles Atlas Way' in particular.

Ambitiously, they had not one but two albums to run through, made more difficult with some technical issues stopping the show abruptly. Naturally, Fauves fans rolled with it, took a welcome toilet break and a sit down, then returned to the sweaty band room for more.

While Cox is ever the showman, the songs Leonard fronts provide many of the band's standout moments. As such, 'Don't Get Death Threats Anymore' was the night's highlight, though for many people in the crowd it was four songs later, when they rolled out 'Dogs Are the Best People'.

Cox joked about how fans waiting for the song could go relieve their babysitters after it, but it was clear a lot of people were waiting for them to 'play the hits'. As such, it felt like they mustered as much enthusiasm as they could but were nonetheless going through the motions.

Somehow, two records had been (almost) played in full in a surprisingly short amount of time, but there were a few more to fit in for the encore. 'The Greek Aesthetic' and 'What's Five Cents Buy' from 'Lazy Highways' found a place here, and 'Future Spa' secret song, but one of the band's best, 'Everybody's Getting A Three Piece Together' was a fitting close.

Despite some technical issues, some classically loose banter, and perhaps not a band firing on all cylinders, punters filed out happy, and thanks to a reasonably early finish time, made it home at a reasonable hour for all of us in our mid-40s with sore backs and long recovery times.

Read our recent interview with The Fauves.

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