Frente @ The Basement, 30th May ’14 – Across The Ocean

Frente @ The Basement, 30th May ’14

When Frente first surfaced in the early ’90s they protruded somewhat incongruously amid a sea of distorted angry rock to deliver to us their unique take on acoustic pop.

frente promo

Despite the alternate music public at the time having a strong proclivity towards the flanno donning disgruntled moaning known as grunge, Frente emerged triumphant with a little gem of a release called Marvin The Album. Time has a tendency to fly, and here we find ourselves gathering to acknowledge Marvin’s 21st.

For the second Friday night in a row I find myself in a room full of Gen Xers up past their bedtime and rather happy about it. There is a strong feeling of sentimentality in the air. Within seconds of gracing the stage a fan calls out “Angie Hart you changed my life”. Elsewhere in a dark nook of the room an unseen fan punctuates the completion of each song with a brief piercing scream of delight.

For the opening track of the night however, respectful silence consumes the room as the sparse beautiful Girl washes over us.

In somewhat suprising turn of events the big gun Accidently Kelly St is promoted to second track and the band suddenly finds itself with several hundred backing singers. “Thankyou and goodnight’ is cheekily quipped by Hart before lightheartedly conceding “we may have peaked too early”.

No doubt it was a somewhat ballsy manoevre to unleash such a hit so early but there was plenty of crowd pleasing moments to come as the evening quickly turned into one huge karaoke party.

No Time and Labour Of Love both obtained strong reactions before the fervour lept up a notch with Ordinary Angels.

Whilst Hart’s vocals are the nucleus of the band, the dynamic created with guitarist Simon Austin’s somewhat hip hop orientated delivery adds an important dimension to the sound. The rhythm section of Bill McDonald (bass) and Pete Luscombe (drums) are cohesive but not excessive and as the result the songs remain light and spacious.

Bizarre Love Triangle gets a few of the couples in front of me a little touchy-feely but it was after this moment where things lost a little bit of momentum, with a few lesser known tracks and unnecessary covers taking just a little gloss off the performance. This however is a minor criticism as for the most part Frente took us back to our youth and put smiles on faces which is all we could have asked for.

Gavin Stocker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Outside of Across The Ocean Gavin Stocker writes, records and performs music under the moniker of P Truck.

He can also be found clinging to his youth on a skateboard or wandering aimlessly through the bush.
Gavin Stocker