Chet Faker took the blogisphere by storm earlier this year with his eargasmic cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity. Like legions of others, I liked the way he worked it. I don’t know what I loved more — his deliciously punny name (homage to jazz crooner Chet Baker), his soulful tones perfectly laid over an impeccable ambient-electronic landscape, or his marvellous beard. Whatever the case, I was compelled to buy his debut EP Thinking In Textures immediately if not sooner. After listening, I wasted no time in purchasing a ticket to his Sydney show at GoodGod. I also bought a pregnancy test just to be safe. I figured if the Virgin Mary could get preggos from God’s will, it’s highly possible that I may be with child from the heavenly vibes radiating from Mr. Faker’s lush sounds. Poor in change but rich in tunes, I was curious to see how his sound would translate in a live setting. Well, I’m here to confirm that Chet is no faker. His live version was the real deal. And for all you beard-enthusiasts out there, his facial hair also lives up to its reputation. But more on that later.
The night kicked off with electronic wizard, Flume. He perfectly set the tone with his boyish charm and deconstructed jams. Riding on an undercurrent of hip hop inspired beats, the hipster majority were loving it! Along with original wonders, including my personal pick, Sleepless, Flume pleased the masses with classic hits invigorated by a new-school twist. Worth particular mention was his funky post-dub take on Biggie’s Juicy. The crowd literally went mental! Begging for an encore, Flume obliged with an uplifting disco number. He ended his set with a sweet display of bromance for his best mate “fuck yeah Miles”, leaving everyone feeling a little bit warm and fuzzy on the inside. If this was a preview of what we are to expect from his Splendour set… Hold on to your butts!
Within minutes of Flume leaving the stage, hordes of people materialised out of thin air. For a notoriously small club, GoodGod was well and truly packed for Mr. Faker’s grand entrance. For someone with such a chilled-out demeanour, Chet’s charisma radiated throughout the venue, captivating all God’s creatures great and small. Joined by a live band, his minimal tunes were animated with a funky-jazz vibe, adding to the aural experience. For his opening track, Chet indulged the crowd with my two favourite vices, Cigarettes and Chocolate. Despite some technical difficulties (which in my experience is to be expected from GoodGod), Chet kept spirits high by engaging the crowd with his subdued enthusiasm and playful banter. Bringing his textured thoughts to life, every track from Thinking In Textures was revived beautifully, with some added surprises, including Jeans & Wallet as well as a stunning cover of what sounded like Archangel by fellow ambient-electro hero, Burial. It was hard to be certain as the crowd chatter overpowered his humble announcement. Nevertheless, whatever it was, it was amazing. The band walked off stage, and darkness impregnated the venue. The only light emanating was from the dim glow of Chet’s laptop, as well as the sound of his milky voice cascading over the soulful tones of his keyboard. Breathtaking stuff.
Encore for the evening was his energetic live rendition of No Diggity with an oh-so-satisfying Bill Withers twist. It was the perfect end to a damn near perfect set. I managed to have a quick chat with Chet after the show and he mentioned that both times he has played in Sydney have been definite highlights. I think I speak for everyone when I say, ‘you’re welcome back anytime!’ Play on playa!