Enmore Theatre, August 22
Flight Facilities have found the sweet spot, and I don’t mean between being a cult interest/risk taking duo and a popular appeal/safety first band. Though they have managed that quite nicely so far as a run of sold out shows in this theatre reaffirms.
I mean almost literally the sweet spot which pleases without overdoing, that teases without undersupplying, that’s here for a good time as well as a reasonably but not excessively long time. Flight Facilities are the musical drink that refreshes and, in an all ages set-up (all ages here meaning 18-60 rubbing shoulders) we can all drink from that fountain without worrying about being sated or saddened or sozzled.
Is that a criticism? Not really. Actually, not at all, unless you turned up to the Enmore with something else in mind because you hadn’t been paying attention.
Fight Facilities offer dance music that makes you move and sometimes jump but isn’t going to be banging, and hooky songs that rise on tunes but don’t go for out-and-out pop. If you’re a hardliner you might wish for a song that kicks in that little bit harder, that surges up and overwhelms you for a while. If you’re a soft-leaning type you might wonder what might come of lifting the energy of, for example, Need You into a full-on Britney/Taylor/Kylie moment.
But that’s not how Hugo Gruzman and James Lyell roll. For them, having Owl Eyes – one of two in-and-out vocalists, with Ric Rufio, who maintain the appropriate sense of balance – as a kind of new gen ONJ is exactly the right tone. And perfect for the gently waving, not taxing, melodies she’s asked to deliver.
Remember, we’re talking a duo who happily dip into Claude Debussy’s bag of gentle treats for some Clair de Lune. And a duo who don’t just wear ties as part of their flight officer uniforms (one Pan Am-esque, the other Spitfire pilot-ish) but keep them neatly knotted the whole show.
That sweet spot is also right because at any moment you can have a sunshine feel of Ibiza, but without the pilled-up Brits, a touch of the ‘70s via sounds that might easily be the Jacksons or the Sylvers, without so much cheesiness that you feel queasy, and a backwards look to the ‘80s, but landing neatly in that period post-Gary Numan and pre-ecstasy.
That in-between zone you might well call the sweet spot.
Flight Facilities play the Enmore Theatre August 24-25; Wollongong Uni Hall, August 25; Nex, Newcastle, August 26; Forum Theatre, Melbourne August 29 and September 13-14; Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, August 31; Fremantle Arts Centre, September 1; Tivoli, Brisbane, September 4-5; Night Quarter, Gold Coast, September 7