2nd March 2019
Review & Photography By Claudia Black
Tonight, there was another good gig at the Islington Assembly Hall. There was a good crowd in for Faun that trickled in at a steady stream, and they were appreciative of the support band Brother Sea.
This band have only been in existence for the past two months and they hail from Totnes in Devon with a Scot on guitar and vocals.
I had a quick chat with the vocalist Richard Harbottle during Faun’s set and if I remember correctly he said that he had worked with Faun whilst working in another project and that is how this support slot came about. A lot of their output is written in, on or around the sea and there is a briny vibe emanating off of them. They only performed around 5 or 6 songs but they went down well with the crowd and in the main were a good warm-up!! I’ve not much else to say really other than I’m not really a fan of excessive chat between songs. I was saying to myself during the Brother Sea set ”Oh get on with it will you!!” But in the Faun set, I never felt that!!
By the time Munich based Faun had taken to the stage the venue was nearly at full capacity and everyone was ready for a night of Medieval, Celtic and Norse entertainment. There was an anticipatory buzz in the Hall that erupted when Faun finally took to the stage.
Starting off tonight’s proceedings with ”Andro”, a track dominated by bagpipes and drums, this got the crowd’s juices flowing in readiness for what was to follow. There was verbal filling here and there from vocalist Oliver S Tyr who mentioned that this was the first time the band had played in the UK, along with a quip about Brexit that got the crowd chuckling and roaring their disdain.
There were quite a few German speakers in the crowd too, both native and second language speakers who were jokingly advised to translate the lyrics of the songs sung in German later in the set. That got a few laughs too!! The set was around 90 minutes in duration and included foot stompers ”Walpurgisnacht”, bagpipe infused ”Blaue Stunde” accompanied by a simple but effective bass line along with the mesmeric ”Iduna” that conjures up images in my head inspired by the film Legend. And I don’t mean the Will Smith movie called Legend : )
”Rhiannon” was a jaunty ditty that caused my left foot to tap furiously in a fan pattern on the floor whilst Daniel Day Lewis crossed in front of my mind’s eye. The Norse aspect was covered with ”Odin” replete with Fiona Frewert’s flutes and Laura Fellas haunting vocal lines. Fiona frewerts’s flute was a prominent feature on the track ”Hymn To Pan” too, this was a whimsical track with vocal lines reminding me of Sopor Aeturnus and The Ensemble Of Shadows.
The foot stomping of the crowd got louder and more emphatic as the set reached its conclusion and I can say that without a doubt a good evening was had by all. Even if by novices to Faun’s music and those who can’t speak German. I don’t think energy needs any translation!!
This was a good gig and I’ll be off to explore the delights of Faun over the coming weeks in my own time. The crowd make their way out of the venue but a few stragglers stay behind hoping to pick up one of the 4 setlists as a souvenir. I take a few photos for my usage in this review and then hand the rest to those expectant stragglers who are happy and finally make their way out!!