Oooh, I love a cheesy alliterative Sun-esque headline, and I also like very muchly Wellington band The Phoenix Foundation.
They played the Bedford last night as part of a nationwide tour to promote their new album Buffalo. The Phoenix Foundation confound the indie rock stereotype. Not for them unfeasibly tight trousers, a sneer and dicky little neckties (yup, I am thinking of you Pluto). Instead they look like their mother, aided by a pudding bowl, cut their hair at the kitchen table and that they threw some skody old tie-dye t-shirts on mere seconds before galloping on-stage.
Sartorial elegance may have eluded them but where they excel at are delivering intelligent, catchy tunes counter-balanced by moody “prog-rock” epics. They played several tracks from the new album, including Bitte Bitte, Buffalo and Pot, and many more from previous albums including Krisk from their Merry Kriskmass EP, Slightest shift in the weather and Hitchcock from Pegasus, and 40 years and Bleaching Sun from Happy Ending. The finale was a touching rendition of TVNZ’s Goodnight Kiwi song, wasted on a Scot such as me, but eliciting happy, nostalgic little sighs from everyone else.
With a new line-up, introducing bass guitarist Tom Callwood, the band have recently recorded the soundtrack for Taika Waititi’s new movie Boy, having previously worked with him on the movie Eagle Vs Shark.
If you want your kiwi folk rock, intelligent, emotionally potent and badly dressed, listen to Phoenix Foundation!