Tu Fawning perform A Monument at Cargo
From the first pistol-crack sound of the drums, Tu Fawning had the crowd eating out of their hand. It was clear that swathes of the group were unfamiliar with a lot of the songs but they quickly got the crowd going with their recent LP, A Monument.
The quartet (from Portland, Oregon) fused vocal harmonies, a cornucopia of instruments played to terrifyingly good standard with an array of strange samples to create a haunting and yet rocking almost narrative set. There were elements of The White Stripes, The Chromatics and Modest Mouse, however their sound was very much their own.
Tu Fawning oozed charisma, with each member of the band almost taking on a character as they performed. The body of the lead guitarist, Joe Haege contorting as he gave his all and the sinister, other-worldliness of the keyboard/violinist, Liza Rietz. Then there was the angular dancing of the other vocalist, Corrina Repp alongside the stoic charm of the multi-instrumentalist, Toussaint Perrault.
These attributes served to show how much the band loved performing and in turn the crowd fed on the energy, especially during the favourite and better-known song, Anchor. They also managed to pull off the impossible, by succeeding to say how much they liked the crowd and the town they were performing in, whilst sounding utterly sincere and genuine. The rapport with the crowd was witty and honest, which endeared them even further.
Multiple instances of instruments swapping, both mid- and after-song, were an amazing feat. Blood Stains and songs from the 2010 debut album Hearts on Hold also drove the crowd wild, whilst the switching of the instruments made their stage presence even more special, giving their sound a depth that one would think impossible to create in a live setting, even more so with just four people.
As the final song came to a close, there was an excited buzz from the crowd and it is more than likely that a lot of people left the venue with a new favourite band. A tiny stage and the set of drums that kept breaking due to some sort of curse couldn’t diminish the sheer energy and musicality of the band. It was a performance that was so strong, it would have done them proud headlining a festival.
Photos: Goncalo Miller