Live Review from Summer Serenade
2. So Tired
3. Dream in Dream
4. Starry Memory
5. Sleep Out
FAD bills itself as ‘indie rock’, which is a genre hard to pin down they waver somewhat between Britpop and post-Britpop, the likes of Oasis and Radiohead, and Keane and Snow Patrol: clean layers, memorable motifs, and energy-fueled bridges. “Sofia” caught me by surprise with a dual guitar harmony – always a favourite feature of mine – that weaved into each other exuberantly as the band dedicates the groupie number to beautiful Sofia Coppola. The intro of “So Tired” paired a ballady keyboards with heartwrenching vocals that soon kicked into more powerful verses. Like many of the bands that night, FAD’s music exhibited a jubilant liveliness coupled with a vague sort of dreaminess. That, together with the range of techniques they teased into their songs, showcased particularly in their two ending numbers, ‘Starry Memory’ and ‘Sleep Out’ – from haunting guitar notes and well-placed progressions to layered constructions and noisy distortion finishes – made them, musically, one of my favourite acts that night.
All of FAD’s songs are in English, with simplistic and straightforward lyrics, and Sky Donkey sings with a distinctive Canto-accent twist at the end of his words, but this less-than-native ‘imperfection’ rather emanated an odd sense of familiarity and that made their HongKong-ness very comforting and likeable. That night, Sky was decked out in colourful checkers, apparently to match the cover of their new album. FAD played last, and by then the crowd had begun to thin, but the band wore their smiles big, and their infectious vigor convinced everyone else that it was worth staying behind.
– Karen Cheung
當晚壓軸的是FAD，剛在今年推出了他們的首張專輯《FAD》，大獲好評。以英倫色彩為基調，再加入不同的元素，創造出屬於FAD自己獨特的音樂。主唱的聲音辨識度頗高，一開聲有讓人驚艷之感，也是一隊散播快樂氛圍的樂隊，果然很乎合夏日這個主題。他們使用了很多不同的結他effect營造歌曲的意境，看他們豐富的Pedal Board已讓人讚嘆，第一首歌曲也是以典型的輕快歌曲《Sofia》先炒熱氣氛，不過觀眾們在看過之前三隊樂隊後情緒已經非常高漲，所以或許不算是「炒熱」氣氛吧，而這首歌讓筆者最欣賞的是那條搶耳突出的Bassline。第二首歌曲《So Tired》是比上一首靜的歌曲，讓觀眾能稍稍「休息」，當中keyboard solo的pattern編得很不錯，感覺舒服且很好聽。然後他們再用第三首歌曲《Dream in Dream》再推高氣氛，第四首《Starry Memory》的intro是一層一層樂器漸入，做到了漸漸遞進的層次感，慢慢滲出的音樂像把人不自覺地吸引入他們的歌曲當中，配合著歌曲的意境，再加上非常不俗的和音，讓人猶如置身如回憶中。最後他們以《Sleep Out》作結，值得一提的是outro的爆發力的確讓是印象深刻，最後他以讓它自然淡出的結他音牆為音樂會劃上句號。
– Sidick Lam
Live Review from Girls with Guitars 4:
1. Thoughts of a Dying Liberal
3. So Tired
4. Dream in Dream
5. Sleep Out
6. Disco 2000 (Pulp cover) [Encore]
I’ve seen FAD play a few times, and their stage manner is the epitome of a restrainedly nice band; they seem happy to be on stage, but not too excited by that fact. This is usually reflected in their music – they’re calm and clean compositions, often featuring long-held notes by each instrument intertwining and creating complex textures, in the vein of The Jesus & Mary Chain, or a slightly less grungy Catherine Wheel. It’s probably not a coincidence that so many of their songs centre on dreams and sleep. The songs tend to be emotionally resonant numbers sung with great care and delicate instrumentation. Basically, the band usually has very few corners of any kind. This is why, I guess, I’ve usually found them a bit dull – always pleasant, but I don’t find them exciting.
Which is why I was very pleasantly surprised to find a completely different band playing that night – they seemed loose, relaxed and like they were actually having fun on stage. Perhaps consequently, their set that night was a little more powerful – the chords were muscled a bit more, and the keyboards seemed to flow easier than usual. Now, I don’t know just how tipsy or whatever else they were, but their attitude that night is definitely something they should consider adopting once again. They were also luckier because the mix for them was actually quite good. The result was a bit like early Audioslave (vocals not included), and they sounded exciting and were great to watch in this avatar.
Thoughts of…began with a minimalist riff, its oxymoronic nature creating the intrigue, before adopting a much harder texture that was offset by the Tom Morello-ike solos. So Tired was refreshing because there was a nice contrast between the childlike melody and the abrasive chords made it an intriguing listen (much more than usual). Sleep Out had a wonderfully heavy yet subtle bassline that was its driving force, pushing the song into an experimental, art-punk sound. They were the first band I’ve seen that seemed genuinely surprised when an encore (much-deserved) was demanded, but they settled on the Pulp song after nearly 10 minutes (I swear) of discussion. They changed the style to more of a Noughties-arty sound, which also worked, and they finished off their Midas touch-night to a huge roar from the audience.
Message from FAD about CD 4 Launch Party B:
Though Fad has been formed for nearly 5 years (with some people changed during the time), this is the FIRST time Fad went into a professional studio for recording, and it is really FUN! Great thanks to The Underground who gave us the chance to be in the compilation, and also great thanks to Koya San of Mark-1 studio for his patience and professional guidance for our recording of the two songs! Recording a song is very different from playing live shows, as we needed to be more accurate and exact on the notes we are playing. Koya San took quite a long time to record us and we have taken even longer time for him to help us on the mixing!! WE LOVE YOU!!
For the Underground CD#4 release party, we were soooooo excited to perform at the new Hard Rock Café at LKF, as we have heard before that the equipment there is great! And it’s TRUE! The stage is big, with a big screen at the back, and the lighting and sound is so great there!! Thank you so much to The Underground to give us the chance to perform there. Also we have to thank our friends who came to see us, and who has supported us all the way to our first CD (though not only us) born. (Starting to be like the Oscar thank you speech…)
Anyway THANK YOU everyone! We hope you enjoy our music, work hard and play harder like us!
Live Review from Underground 88:
Our maiden act are a five piece that play songs that are distinctively of a Brit pop variety. They work well with dynamics, starting off the set quietly with a single instrument being heard, then slowly the rest start layering riffs on top until they all join together, and introduce the band. A nice sly way of doing a quick levels check as well
Tim – Hong Kong Independent Music Blog