Live Review from Underground 47:
Commitment clearly wasn’t lacking from the entirely admirable Elf Fatima, kicking off with the marvelously titled Drop a Bomb into a Radio Station.
Chorus and all manner of other effects pedals to the fore, the band were clearly going for a slow-burning, hypnotic effect, and it worked. Worries about lack of vocals from this instrumental act subsided as the song grew in intensity. At the climax of pounding fuzzy guitars, you could almost see the morning show DJs’ heads exploding, before a gentle close evoked the smoking rubble of the remains of Commercial Radio headquarters… Good, earnest, shoe-gazing fun.
My friend Jim suspected that song two featured all the same notes, just in a slightly different order. To me it sounded like something like Low-Life era New Order in a chill-out mood and was just asking for some spoken-word vocals over the top, or an art film projected behind. But this song too began to get the audience in its grip and gave them a solid blast of intense guitar noise for their trouble.
The next two songs continued on the same theme, each song seeming to tell a story, invariably with a decent dose of drama before a bittersweet ending in a minor key. You might not like them – and you have to wonder how long the Underground audience might have tolerated such a different approach – but Elf Fatima are the finished article. Each band member played their part in a tight performance, though special praise should go to the drummer for both subtlety and power throughout.
Live Review from Underground 34:
I don’t know what their music is. It’s fairly ambient, simple but lush, dark but comforting. Something like a Japanese garden overrun by dark elves, covering it with their rich musky musical odor. They then slowly fade away one by one, leaving you where you began. This is what all the fairly lands sound like at night, with just a hint of mischief and magic left over from their daytime antics. The landscape is darkly beautiful – mountains jagged, lakes serene, ogres sleeping (but with one eye open). Their final song, peacefully paying respect to this beautiful place, was a wonderful close to this delightful venture. Overall tight musicianship and worthy of making the effort to go and watch. Great Underground night for me.