The Faim, Chapel and Halflives @ The Garage London (Live Review)

Halflives are bright and bubbly with energy. Lead singer Linda Battilani bounds into stage with a playful demeanour she keeps up for the entire set, coaxing the crowd to join in to which they comply even if they don’t know the band. Surprisingly a large portion of the crowd sings back the lyrics, however it’s not so surprising when you consider their brilliant sound and majestic live show, the vocals notably wild and untamed in a very impressive manner.

After playing an explosive drum solo at the end of their sound check, drummer Kortney Grinwis and vocalist / guitarist Carter Hardin take to the stage. Indie pop duo Chapel pack one hell of a punch with choppy beats and unexpected synth breakdowns. Even when stripped back to just drums and vocals there is so much bite to the music. The use of a synthesised backing track helps keep things interesting when it comes back in for the chorus, the band jokingly getting the crowd to cheer for their 13-inch MacBook Pro behind them.

Not only did The Faim sell out their first headline show, they sold out The Garage after a venue change from The Underworld. The Aussie alternative pop band’s lead singer Josh Raven riots onto stage for the song ‘Saints Of The Sinners’. There was quite amusing sound issues during the first song, technical problems causing the sound to cut out, to which the crowd just sang louder. I’m sure it’s not how they planned their first headline London show to start but they handle it well and the crowd clearly isn’t too phased. Despite technical issues, the energy The Faim brings is unparalleled, blowing most bands out of the water. Things calm down slightly for ‘My Heart Needs To Breathe’ but the crowd stays manic. Next up is a new song called ‘Beautiful Drama’, it’s different to their latest EP Summer Is A Curse as it is more like their earlier work and still just as brilliant. Later in the set the band plays their latest single Fire, released recently with a music video. It’s even better live than it is recorded and definitely worth experiencing in a gig atmosphere.  Despite barely being out a week so many fans already know the words screaming them back to the band playing to the cramped room. ‘Where The River Flows’ is beautifully raw and emotional clearly meaning so much to Josh as he sings it from in the crowd after saying ‘It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from or what you’ve done, I want you to know that your happiness, your truth and your passion is worth pursing regardless of any shit that is happening in your life. It took me a long time to realise that the challenge is facing yourself and I didn’t know who the fuck I was, you guys make me feel at home every single night’. The room is illuminated with fan’s lighters and phones for ‘Million Stars’ as the band bring the energy back up. ‘Make believe’ is chill inducing, especially after Josh’s motivational speech saying ‘Everything feels so much worse, not good enough for your friends, not good enough for your parents, you’re not good enough for your dreams but fuck that!’.

The band conclude their set with a brilliant rendition of ‘Amelie’ and ‘Summer Is A Curse’, Josh crowd surfing whilst still singing incredibly well. The band later chose to do something they don’t do very often coming back on to play ‘Ecstasy’ after claiming they were going to waste time going off for an encore but hey it’s a pretty special gig!

The Faim’s first ever London show delivers on all fronts from the dramatic showmanship from frontman Josh and the captivating light-show to the boisterous energy emitting from the rest of the band, every song sounding epic and worthy to be performed in stadiums one day.

Photos by Jess Boswell at The Exchange, Bristol.

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