Faust: Live Last Night
By Mark Jenkins
Some people will just never get over the early 1970s.
Two of those people, to judge by Faust's self-indulgent performance Sunday night at the Black Cat, are Jean-Herve Peron and Werner "Zappi" Diermaier, founding members of the Hamburg band whose song, "Krautrock," named an entire movement. The musicians, who have performed off and on with Faust since 1971, propelled an acid-flashback menu of trance rock, free jazz and guerrilla theater.
(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)
Gray-haired yet child-like, the grinning Peron served as the ringleader of a quartet whose current touring lineup is half British. The multi-instrumentalist provided the circular, near-funky bass lines of such songs as "Mamie Is Blue," but only about half the 80-minute set employed the spacey groove that inspired such post-punk outfits as the Fall and Public Image Limited.
While James Johnston (once of Gallon Drunk) mostly banged on guitar and keyboards, Geraldine Swayne sang, played various instruments and recited from Goethe's "Faust" (in English). During an improvisation that featured a guest saxophonist, she soloed on paint brush, daubing a canvas amid the clatter. At one point, Peron dumped pebbles into a cement mixer -- and all over the stage. And Diermaier stepped from behind his drums to attack a slab of metal with an electric sander, producing a hail of sparks.
Often using miniature or toy instruments, Faust didn't make as much racket as might be expected from a band concluding this year's "Sonic Circuits" festival. But the quartet's street-theater antics were generally entertaining, and its drive formidable. Maybe it's just as well that Peron and Diermaier haven't outgrown their musical youth.
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