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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:48 am 
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FischerSpooner at Fly - 26/11/2011

by Nick the Bookman

Well, this is a blast from the past. FischerSpooner are back on my sonic radar for the first time in a decade. They're appearing at Fly for a one-night only electroclash DJ gig, following a week after a thoroughly enjoyable show by James and Jamie of The Klaxons. I'm hoping for a night of squelchy synth sounds with lashings of their patent New York cool. They took the dance world by storm with megahit (to me at least) Emerge, a fine mix of 80's synth with added muscle. That was in 2001. Got signed for a million quid+sounds by Ministry Of Sound which didn't work out too well for MOS. Did sort of cabaret/fashion live shows and then...sort of drifted off my screen. I wasn't sure if they were still going or had mutated into other areas of music/media. Nice to find out they are still playing music.

The duo are Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner. Warren is the backroom boffin of sorts. He thinks all new electronic music is basically rock and brings a suitable state of mind to his performances. Casey is the energetic frontman. I can't wait to hear Emerge. Either straight up on the rocks or with added twists of now-time remixes. I think they'll prove a popular draw, so best get to Fly early.

I arrive about 2130 and meet Maike, Fly's PR & Marketing Executive, on the door. I explain who I am. We have a nice chat. She gets Chester (hi, mate!) to come and say there's no problem getting in. I say, I'll be back about 2230, as I want to go eat...and one hour later, Hassan the amiable Keeper Of The Queue stamps me and I'm in. DJ Seb Lander is laying down some tasty beats. He runs a night called BigBox – usually finding its home at Fly every last Saturday of the month. The sound is quite druggy in places. Minimal repetitive beats. Lots of percussion and prog/world music melodies. Interesting and enigmatic vocal samples and soundbites. Flowing fairly seamlessly as well. Meet a nice lady called Sarah who asks if I mind watching her bag while she circulates. No problem. There's a good buzz building, but not quite so many flaming champagne bottles flitting through the crowd.

It's about 0120 by my inaccurate(ish) watch. Figures have entered the DJ booth. Seb Lander has pulled out all the musical stops. Laying down his marker. Casey and Warren are plugging in their gear. Casey is short. Black Dame Edna type glasses. Hair in a large top-knot. Warren is taller, blonder and more stoic looking. Giving off a sort of The Wizard of Oz behind-the-curtain master controller vibe. Beat Box finishes with a flourish and the pulsating staccato keys of Emerge blast out of the speakers to a roar of recognition and approval. Sarah has (ahem) re-emerged from the crowded scene and is sort of singing along to the lyrics. Unless that was me. So, that's the game plan. Play the hit first and get it out of the way. Sort of that-was-then. This-is-now. Here's what our heads are hearing now.

Emerge turns out to be the only tune I recognise all night. Most of the set is a masterclass in punky, grimy synth basslines and robotic drum patterns. Fast, s-l-o-w, faster. Randy vacuums. Blarts and bleeps and some snarly drones. Was that some treated vocals? A snatch of cybersong? Interspersed with occasional early electronic melodies. Reminiscent to me at times of The BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Wendy (born Walter) Carlos - the electronic composer of the Clockwork Orange soundtrack. At times I'm listening intently. At times I've stopped scrawling illegible notes in the murky luminous glow and drifted off. Warren appears to do the majority of the mixing. People are dancing and fist pumping. Pausing for further drinks. Brownian Motion ensures a steady mix of punters doing their varied thing. Hassan tells me later it was a full house and some people weren't able to get in. It was a full house night.

FischerSpooner perform just north of two hours and pack up. They don't really interact with the audience. Not like Jamie and James who were chuckling. Posing for photos. Basically, having a gas, dude. Maybe, they're jetlagged and need to make an early start. Maybe, they're shy. Anyway, they quickly leave the club and shortly afterwards I do the same.

Fly is a great place. Everyone seems friendly and out for a laugh. I enjoy these nights out. Relapsing after about 4 years of not doing gigs in The Midnight Hour. I like electroclash and I was delighted to attend this night. But, I felt vaguely unsatiated. Was hoping for some undefinable more. Well, maybe my fault for setting the anticipation bar too high. What you get is what you got. What's the old maxim? Always leave them wanting more. Let's score it at 8.5 for the night. Out of 10. That's good enough for me.

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