Fixers / Birthdays
The duo that just keep on gigging, Stuart Gadd (words) and Kane Howie (photos) went to check out Oxford hopefuls Fixers
Without the lushness of their recorded sound, Fixers still seem to be having fun. A lot of concentration goes into their performance however as they attempt approximation of gilded ziggurats of Beach Boys loving sound into single finger coherent stabs of keys that mimic that band’s stately progressions. On a golden middle section, including ‘Aleaxandra’s’ jeweled Cocteau’s skirl, the band meanwhile strike up infectious rhythms, with great bass interplay suggesting they’re relishing the chance to play as a stripped down band. The band are in no hurry to rush songs to hasty conclusions though, with plenty of space for their haunting but euphoric airs to hang around. Thus ‘World of Beauty’ is a loping thing, with its blast off guitars, swirling organ and the spangly chorus “welcome to my space age”, a view of earth from space. A big crowd at this new-ish hipster venue then seems enraptured as singer Jack Goldstein stands in profile to the audience at his keys, striking a lupine aspect while his single voice crystallizes much of the recorded Beach Boys harmonies.
Poised to stake a claim in the ground between first lp MGMT melancholic euphoria and Liars experimental expansivesness, the Oxford group are a key prospect; songs like ‘Majesties Ranch’ (appealing similar in melody to Kings of Leons ‘The Bucket’) appropriately fix in your head so they’ve done their job.
The sound at Birthdays needs to grow up a touch however.