Fyfe at The Waiting Room
In the basement of a pub on Stoke Newington High Street a crowd waits. The Waiting Room, a cosy music venue tucked away underneath The Three Crowns pub, is playing host to musician Paul Dixon, otherwise known as Fyfe, who is back on tour with new EP Stronger.
So intimate is the venue that the artist has to walk on stage through the crowd, and Dixon gets more than a few pats on the back as he does so. Immediately he is an artist in the literal sense; you can tell that his music is a craft. To his right, a drummer plays the kind of beats you would associate with electronica, the sort of rhythms that could easily be replicated by a drum kit but to hear them live makes the experience all the more visceral. To Dixon’s left, an Apple laptop sits perched atop a keyboard. The dichotomy of Fyfe’s sound, the consummate musicianship and the accomplished mixing of electronic tones, generates music that speaks across decades, feeling undeniably young whilst secretly raiding Dad’s record box.
Fyfe begins with For You, playing simple chords over looped mixes, live drums and sound effects galore. But the lyrics stand out: “Everything I do, every little thing I do. Everything I do, every little thing I do,” Dixon repeats, his voice having the quality almost of a soul or jazz singer. He is like Crosby on acid, Stevie Wonder backed by a haunting orchestra.
New single Better Man showcases so much that it is difficult to keep up. Balladic piano riffs intertwine with compressed and wobbling guitar, alongside electronic effects, though, as on the track, which features the Iskra String Quartet, the song has a beautiful orchestral feel. The lyrics always cut through in just the right way, with the chorus, “You know I always plan to be a better man, but you hold me through every circumstance”, again showcasing Dixon’s impressive vocals.
Final track Solace has the crowd singing the words back to the stage, a small band of people in a basement underground, on a Tuesday night, swaying and bouncing. Dixon does what a lot of others are currently doing, but he has a better ear for a tune and, frankly, is far more accomplished. With this much talent, Fyfe deserves to be huge, but even in a small venue he plays as if the world is listening – and it should be.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information about Fyfe and future events visit here.
Watch the video for For You here: