decoded_ Something for your mind… Something for your mind…

February 13, 2007

FourPlay @ The Studio – Sydney Opera House : 08.02.2007

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music — decoded_ @ 12:54 pm


I went and saw fabulous Sydney string quartet FourPlay perform live last week on Thursday 8th February, at The Studio – Sydney Opera House.

Thursday’s show focused on rock/pop music and was the first of three shows at The Studio – Sydney Opera House, as part of their FourPlay – Three Ways performances. The following shows both on Friday focused on jazz/blues music, and a late show focused on electronica/hip-hop music. I was unable to get to the Friday performances.

Their performance was a bit more raw, and not as polished as the previous/first time I saw them, for their ‘Now To The Future’ album launch at The Metro last year, but was still very enjoyable and full of wonderful music. They were probably under quite a bit of pressure at this gig, knowing it was being recorded live for a special digital release (being made available to those in attendance only), and they were also featuring many new compositions, possibly the debut performance of some. This was a seated audience gig too, which would probably have felt very different for them compared to their more often pub/club gigs I think.

I always get a very strong emotional reaction to their sounds/music, it’s warmth for my soul. I’ve always loved the sound of strings they’re such beautifully expressive instruments. I really should go to a symphony performance one day.

During their performance I remember hearing their own compositions: ‘Evolve Or Decay’, ‘You’ve Changed Your Tune’, ‘Trust’, and ‘Bollyrock’ which are all featured on their excellent ‘Now To The Future’ album.

We were also treated to a number of new compositions, a couple of titles I remember: ‘Requiem For a Democracy’, and ‘Poker Face (Butter Girl or But A Girl)’. I also really enjoyed a quite experimental new composition which I didn’t catch the name of, that featured them playing over a effects pedal sampled live loop of what could only be described as viola ‘slap bass’ and hit violin/cello body percussions. It had a great contrast of abstract sounding parts and really lush melodic parts.

Covers they performed that I remember: Radiohead – ‘2+2=5’, Cocteau Twins – ‘Seekers Who Are Lovers’, The Strokes – ‘Reptilia’, and Rage Against The Machine – ‘Killing In The Name Of’ which Shenzo had some awesome talk-box type effect on his viola for the “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me” vocal part, and Lara’s Tom Morello EBow guitar solo part sounded spot on.

They also performed a new cover, Midnight Oil – ‘Read About It’ which was a little rough around the edges, but had some really awesome sounding sections. I still think INXS – ‘Johnson’s Aeroplane’ would sound fantastic covered by them. They ended the performance with their fantastic version of Beastie Boys – ‘Sabotage’ voted to be played by audience cheer.

Considering this was a rock/pop focused performance, I’m surprised they didn’t play their well known Metallica – ‘Enter Sandman’ cover. I would have liked to have heard their Depeche Mode – ‘The Sweetest Perfection’ and Jeff Buckley -‘Grace’ covers too, but it was great they played a lot of their own new material instead, otherwise they’d probably start to feel too much like a cover band.

They’re all very talented, passionate musicians, and Lara sings like an angel. I love the way Peter plays his cello like an upright bass, and Shenzo is amazing with his banjo and blues guitar style playing of his viola turned on it’s side. Not forgetting Tim with his excellent effected sounds and expressive playing style.

I wish I could have seen them play again on the Friday as well. I look forward to their new releases, and hope to see them live again soon.

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