Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Frente! Live

Melbourne folk-popsters Frente! (exclaimation point intentional) have reformed are touring Australia currently behind the 21st Anniversary reissue of their massive-selling first album Marvin - The Album. Our Melbourne correspondent, (who also happens to be my sister) RainbowStar, caught the band live recently and, in her debut post, shares her reflections of the show:

Frente!: 21 years of Marvin


It was a sultry autumn night with a slight breeze on the air. The city lights glistening across the river. The Arts Centre foyer was abuzz with chatter. Over the din could be heard exclamations of "I can't believe Frente! is playing tonight" and "can you believe it's been 21 years since Marvin was released?" The excitement was contagious. A colourful audience of 30 and 40-somethings were intrigued by the notion of the somewhat intimate setting of the Playhouse, with comfortable seating and absence of dance floor.

First up was support act, Maples (Gabby Huber of Dead Letter Chorus), with her eclectic mix of, at times, ethereal vocals and pop-driven synth. After a brief intermission, the sounds of Frente! took flight, taking the audience on a journey of memories. One by one, the songs of Marvin – The Album were laid bare in front of an audience transported back in time to the upbeat sounds of old favourites such as ‘Accidentally Kelly Street’ and ‘Ordinary Angels’. The blunt reality of ‘Cuscutlan’ still rings true in light of the current socio-political climate.

The unapologetically organic sound mixed with lyrical depth with equal measure of intensity and quirkiness, synonymous with Frente!, was captured perfectly in the intimacy of the Playhouse. The honesty of Angie Hart’s vocals matched by Simon Austin on guitar, emphatically working through the tracks of Marvin, the local release and the additional tracks of the international release.

Frente! ensured the audience were not stranded alone in the world of Marvin, but rather danced through the journey of time reliving audience requests, such as ‘Horrible’ ‘Sit on my Hands’ and ‘Goodbye Goodguy’ from the 1996 follow-up album Shape. Frente! did not fail to deliver the magic and beauty inherent in Marvin which has captured and inspired the hearts and minds of many.

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