Big show despite small audience

Big show despite small audience
The Big Pink frontman Robbie Furze did all the right moves to get fans to clap and swing along.

Concert review: Mosaic Music Festival 2014
Esplanade Concert Hall / Last Friday

As far as indie bands go, London outfit The Big Pink are frontline purveyors of the big sound, having songs with massive choruses, thumping beats and walls of guitars and keyboards.

Unfortunately, the songs that could have rocked out stadiums felt a little hollow at the band's inaugural Singapore show.

This is largely because the three-piece outfit led by singer-guitarist Robbie Furze seemed overwhelmed by the large but sadly under-utilised Esplanade Concert Hall. The turnout was poor - less than a quarter of the 1,600 capacity venue was filled. To give the band credit, they still played their hearts out for the fans who did turn up, mostly in their late teens and 20s.

The black-clad Furze, sporting tattoos of his favourite bands including metal vets Metallica on his arms and slinging his Telecaster low, had all the right moves, swinging along to the beat or getting the fans to clap along. His voice was reinforced with heavy reverb and effects. In contrast, the man seemed a little shy between tunes, thanking the fans and not talking much.

To his left was his wife, model/musician Mary Charteris, on keyboards and backing vocals.

The most striking member was drummer Vicky Jean Smith, steadily pounding away John Bonham-sized beats on her red drum kit propped up on the elevated riser at the back.

Her playing brought a new dimension to the band's recorded works. Yes, the drumming was bolstered with sampled, electronic beats, but Smith's stylishness and dexterity on the hi-hats and propulsive playing was a joy to watch.

A false start notwithstanding - Charteris triggered off a sample a little too early - the trio kicked off with a bang.

Opening with Stay Gold, one of the more recognisable songs from their sophomore album, Future This, was a canny move as the song is a euphoric, electronic/indie rock hybrid anthem that got many in the crowd on their feet.

Early singles such as Too Young To Love and Velvet, as well as Hit The Ground (Superman) from Future This also went down well with the fans, who were further thrilled to hear the band premiere four new songs from their upcoming third album.

While Furze did not name them, two of them seemed like classic Big Pink, with prominent guitar riffs, rousing choruses and booming drums, while the other two were slower, with melancholic melody lines.

But disappointingly they played for a little less than an hour. After the main set ended, they came back on stage for just one song - their biggest hit and most recognised tune, Dominos, from their 2009 debut, A Brief History Of Love.

With the anaemic turnout and skimpy playing time, the band would probably have turned out a much better set in the smaller and more intimate Mosaic Studio or Music Club.

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