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Review: Fake Turins deliver a stellar set on their live return

PUBLISHED: 15:49 18 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 18 October 2020

Fake Turins at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, on October 10, 2020. Picture: Elinor Haskew

Fake Turins at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, on October 10, 2020. Picture: Elinor Haskew

Elinor Haskew

Fake Turins returned to the stage at Paper Dress Vintage, in Hackney, after a long lockdown break.

Fake Turins at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, on October 10, 2020. Picture: Elinor HaskewFake Turins at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, on October 10, 2020. Picture: Elinor Haskew

When venues closed their doors back in mid-march, live music dutifully stepped out of the spotlight so that the spread of Covid-19 could be better controlled.

Seven months have passed and with little hope in the way of a Hollywood vaccine, live music is cautiously creeping back into the periphery.

Before lockdown, South London dectet (that’s a ten-piece) Fake Turins were building momentum towards their busiest summer as a band, cultivating a buzz as a must-see live act. Boasting a diverse range of instruments and textures, the band were often accompanied by rooms full to capacity with people bouncing and shifting to their infusion of psychedelia and dance.

In a sense, Fake Turins thrive off crowd interaction, with many in the audience mirroring the bodily theatrics of frontman Dominic Rose.

Fake Turins at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, on October 10, 2020. Picture: Elinor HaskewFake Turins at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, on October 10, 2020. Picture: Elinor Haskew

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Saturday night (October 10) at Hackney’s Paper Dress Vintage was always going to be a moment belittled by comparisons of the pre-covid era, and with the cosy East London art space cutting its capacity from 100 to 30, it’s clear that musicians now have a whole new challenge in light of restrictions.

Shortly after the lights dim, frontman Rose and drummer George Traylen take to the stage and begin the foundation of a lengthy dance jam. One by one, the rest of the band appear and position themselves in the song, allowing the audience to gradually re-calibrate their ears and come to terms with the 2020 definitions of a gig.

READ MORE: Hackney and Islington arts venues “grateful” for government funding lifeline

Fake Turins at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, on October 10, 2020. Picture: Elinor HaskewFake Turins at Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney, on October 10, 2020. Picture: Elinor Haskew

Unphased by the uncharacteristically motionless crowd, the band deliver a stellar 45 minute set, drawn out and calculated so that the songs blend into one faultless constant. With a crowd forcibly still, the band were without their closest ally, yet the performance bore an adaptive quality, one which the surrounding industry must surely follow in order to survive.

There was an air of appreciation that after six months stranded in the depths of a gig-less society, finally live music was back.

A DIY ethos means the London music economy is not known for the principles of conformity or moderation. Nor were the great gigs of recent decades the stories of rules and regulations. But with Covid refusing to retract its grasp on society, artists must somewhat abandon the ethos that helped inspire them in the first place, because right now it’s not about attitude, but about survival.


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