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Image for Def FX  @ The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (02/06/12)

Def FX @ The Corner Hotel,Melbourne (02/06/12)

The ‘90s band revival explosion has reached a fever pitch of late, and for all the cash-in on nostalgia overtones, some genuinely great acts have happily bounced back from near-obscurity. Sydney-based one-time Triple J favourites The Clouds made a cracking return last year while Tumbleweed are currently drawing the biggest crowds of their career, but not every come-back works as well as the band in question maybe expects.

In the early ‘90s, Def FX’s live shows were notorious, out of control orgies of nudity and instrument trashing putting them squarely on the ‘must see’ list. When plans to bring the band back to the stage began circulating over a year ago, it was almost a no-brainer that this would be one not to miss. Anticipation may have not have been as high as Def FX front-woman, Fiona Horne expected, with the singer taking it upon herself to promote the reunion almost single-handedly which included defending a new line-up, with herself and bassist Martyn Basha being the only original members taking part.

Sadly, the long build up to Def FX’s show – including all that self-promotion – instead of creating a buzz, ended up looking a little desperate instead. Follies like offering priority tickets and a rather pricey meet and greet was perhaps also a poorly thought out move, as the Corner Hotel is well under capacity tonight. These factors should have set off alarm bells, but it’s the rather bored looks on the audience’s faces that is the most telling. Def FX, only four songs into their headline set, and the realisation hits that something was seriously wrong on stage. Firstly, their sound mix is absolutely abysmal. Relying heavily on pre-recorded tracks, with which guitar, bass and vocals struggle to meld, often means gaping chasms exist between the synths and the live instruments. Crushingly, a tinny, pre-recorded backing vocal only highlighted Fiona’s out-of-breath and pitchy singing.

Fiona’s lively movements and massive dreadlocked hair cannot distract from the hollow, midi-drum beat which is the final undoing of Def FX as a live act in what should have been a triumphant return. Frustratingly, here is a band who have an amazing back catalogue of work, yet who are content to get by on their name rather than their former reputation to put on amazing shows. What should have been set highlights, Surfers Of The Mind, Psychoactive Summer, Crystalise, No Time For Nowhere and I’ll Be Your Majick came off limp and unfulfilling. The band’s best songs still sound dynamic on CD. Def FX were the ‘sound of now’ in their time so making the live transition tonight, with the many advances in audio reproduction, should have been kick ass. However, all of the things that Def FX lacked, support act Insurge brought in spades to their all-to-brief thrill ride of a show.

Few support bands I’ve seen slaughtered the headline act with the grand style Insurge display tonight. Everything about the Sydney-based industrial rockers sounds fresh and urgent, with none of their politically-themed songs showing signs of having dated. Live Insurge recall everything from Big Pig, to The Prodigy to Manic Street Preachers while remaining largely non-derivative. Singer Chris Dubrow’s voice roars above his band’s clatter-percussion and synth storm of memorable singles, Speculator, I Hate Stupid People and Political Prisoners. What’s striking though is how no real effort is required to just enjoy the band’s set and watch them working so well together and loving it, again setting them apart from Def Fx who looked bored and rigid by comparison.

Insurge along with opening act, Attack of the Mannequins and DJ Ash (ex-Caligula frontman) provided solid, retro tinged sets between them in a show that should have been aided by the addition of Def FX rather than let down. I still love their songs, damn them, and more than anything I wanted to see the band succeed after 15 years away, but the reality is Def FX showed little care for their songs or their fans, which made it very hard to care about them in return.

Comments

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hellboy1975

hellboy1975 said on the 5th Jun, 2012

Def FX were great in the 90s, saw plenty of great shows from the (though no "out of control orgies of nudity and instrument trashing "). I was initially excited until I heard Sean wasn't going to be involved. Sounds like the shows aren't great, so I'm kinda glad I'm out of town this weekend and won't be tempted by the Adelaide show.

QueenNahs

QueenNahs said on the 5th Jun, 2012

Oh that would have been so disappointing... and was what I feared so I didn't drive down to the Hobart show on the 3rd for my birthday... I'm glad I didn't now. My memories of them completely slaying it on a tiny stage at The Reef in Noosa many years ago remains intact.

MisterSpicoli

MisterSpicoli said on the 5th Jun, 2012

the sydney show:
song 1: fiona runs out of notes in the same key as the band, her boob pops out.
song 2: guitar ceases working, guitarist gets electrocuted.
song 3: we realise those first two songs were the 'hits'.
song 4: special guest (bass guitarist's teen son) is brought up to inject some fresh blood - fiona doesn't look happy. blues jam/shouty chorus battle ensues
songs 5 through 7: we all realise that giving up on our teen dreams of rockstardom and settling into nondescript careers was not such a bad choice.
encore: we pull out mobiles to record the horror - people need to be made aware of atrocities.

MisterSpicoli

MisterSpicoli said on the 5th Jun, 2012

the sydney show:
song 1: fiona runs out of notes in the same key as the band, her boob pops out.
song 2: guitar ceases working, guitarist gets electrocuted.
song 3: we realise those first two songs were the 'hits'.
song 4: special guest (bass guitarist's teen son) is brought up to inject some fresh blood - fiona doesn't look happy. blues jam/shouty chorus battle ensues
songs 5 through 7: we all realise that giving up on our teen dreams of rockstardom and settling into nondescript careers was not such a bad choice.
encore: we pull out mobiles to record the horror - people need to be made aware of atrocities.

GMorPhoto

GMorPhoto said on the 5th Jun, 2012

brisbane show was amazing... got to photograph them after a wait of some 15 years... great energy, some issues (power blowouts, but got to hear song again). was a great night, eh... bummed that the vibe was obviously 'not there' for melbourne... anyways, brisbane gig at the zoo... win!

Ki_Fe

Ki_Fe said on the 5th Jun, 2012

no idea what went on in melbourne but the hobart show was simply a blast!
great energy on stage, the sound was good, especially after it improved after a couple of songs. the crowd was definitely into it and all my friends loved it. we were with a couple of friends that didn't know def fx from back in the day (they only moved to australia a couple of years ago) and they absolutely loved it, which shows that def fx did sound 'fresh' as they didn't know any songs or the reputation of the 'old' def fx.
i for one hope that def fx will continue to rock and thanks for the awesome show in hobart!

joely girl

joely girl said on the 5th Jun, 2012

your review is the biggest crock i have heard in a very long time!!!!! are you sure we went to the same show?..because it was awesome. the meet and greet was fabulous and well worth the money. as for the show,i recall everyones faces to be absolutely beeming with excitement and cheering like crazy.the band was fantastic and fionas vocals and performance were amazing.the gig was energetic and totally amazing.sounded exactly as i remember 15 years ago.

grattan

grattan said on the 5th Jun, 2012

From the Def FX Facebook:

We got a horrible review for our sold out show at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne! If any of you disagree with it please leave a comment after the review on the magazines website! We only have fantastic memories of being able to rock out for you again. But it would be great if you want to leave something positive on the FasterLouder page about us.

And on the cancelled Perth show:

So very sorry- we are very disappointed too. Ultimately it was a decision the promoter had to make as there were not enough pre sales to afford to bring the band over to Perth. We don't have tour support or a record deal to help cover expenses and the promoter decided there is not enough money to be able to buy the plane tickets hotels rent a van and pay for backline and all the other costs. We are so sorry

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 5th Jun, 2012

From the Def FX Facebook:

We got a horrible review for our sold out show at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne! If any of you disagree with it please leave a comment after the review on the magazines website! We only have fantastic memories of being able to rock out for you again. But it would be great if you want to leave something positive on the FasterLouder page about us.



SURELY these couldn't be connected....

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 5th Jun, 2012

If Fiona's boob popped out during the first song, I find it hard to believe that it was a bad gig.

OneUntoHerself

OneUntoHerself said on the 5th Jun, 2012

are you serious def fx were amazing at the corner, i had an awesome night

lateleigh

lateleigh said on the 5th Jun, 2012

Don't shoot the messenger... It wasn't a 'horrible review', it was an honest one. Insurge worked extremely well live, while Def FX did not - simple as that. The difference between the band's sets was remarkable in terms of what did and what didn't sound right (I do have ears, you know). For the record there were a lot of bored looking people there (I do also have eyes, you know). As much as I love Def FX and wanted their show to go well, it just wasn't the case.

chickadeedee

chickadeedee said on the 5th Jun, 2012

the sydney show was amazing! i was there with a few friends who were die hard fans from back in the day and they were not dissapointed. fiona's energy was as good as ever and she sounded amazing. i had a great time, as did the rest of the crowd from what i could see. don't understand what this reviewer is on about.

Epedra

Epedra said on the 5th Jun, 2012

the gig went off!! fiona's vocals were powerful, & clear. the performance punchy, upbeat and energetic. with a rockn moshpit front of stage. def fx rocked!!!!!! & we have the video to prove it!!!!!!

Sama

Sama said on the 5th Jun, 2012

i sadly have to agree. i left before the end of the show.

ash did do a great job djing along with clint rexx. they were playing one for one until clint put on tears of a clown to piss ash off ;)

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 5th Jun, 2012



Uh-huh... let's see it, then...

Daft Punks Lip Sweat

Daft Punks Lip Sweat said on the 5th Jun, 2012

Subscribing to this thread solely for MAB tearing Def Fx groupies a new one.

grattan

grattan said on the 5th Jun, 2012



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM6LaytcwzA

lateleigh

lateleigh said on the 5th Jun, 2012

Sama: Oh god I remember that!! Pretty hilarious and Ash took it quite well I thought.

grattan

grattan said on the 5th Jun, 2012

My fave comment from the Def FX facebook page:

Have a look at the profile of the author 'Lateleigh'. He's a fan of the Pet Shop Boys and Prince, ffs! Definitely not in the same league as fans of Def FX

JD77

JD77 said on the 5th Jun, 2012

no one was looking forward to this gig more than me. i love def fx and i love fiona. i have to agree with most of what is said here... without sean & the original guitarist the sound was hollow as hell. the new guitarist tried to make the songs his own and that just pissed me off. fiona still did her best to rock the house but i was so taken aback by her tragic hair & outfits that it just didn't have the same vibe. i still loved the songs but i was disappointed. i also 100% agree with the comments about insurge they were unbelievable the wall of sound was phenomenal, the songs definitely have not aged and they have evolved. they didn't try and look the same and chris' voice was a force to be reckoned with. i love def fx and i will willingly pay to give them another chance, you may have fooled some but for those of us who are musicians you didn't fool anyone.

Fake Plastic Android

Fake Plastic Android said on the 5th Jun, 2012

Subscribing to this thread in the hope someone has video or photographic evidence of Fiona's boob popping out.

hellboy1975

hellboy1975 said on the 6th Jun, 2012

fiona seems to have increased a cup size or two since i saw her last!

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 6th Jun, 2012

Wait they had a hooker onstage......I fee like I missed out now

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 6th Jun, 2012

Am I missing something here? She looks like a disease.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 6th Jun, 2012

Does anyone else not know who these guys are?

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 6th Jun, 2012

I do, but only because I bought the Hottest 100 CD from 1996 at a garage sale when I was thirteen.

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 6th Jun, 2012

I know who they are because I accidentally listened to a rant by sailor

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 6th Jun, 2012

I can't believe you people aren't familiar with bands that achieved a small amount of success in the early to mid '90s!

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 6th Jun, 2012

I actually own Pyschoactive Summer as a CD Single, probably the most embarrassing item in my collection.

techromance

techromance said on the 6th Jun, 2012

although i was at the sydney show i think this review is harsh and while it was not without some problems i thought fiona and the rest of the band were excellent. insurge were great too and maybe defx suffered a little by comparision in the begnning of their set due to a poor mix - which was nothing to do with the band or the backing tracks but was obviously due to the engineer not being on the ball...this was quickly rectified and by about the fifth song and the def fx we all know and love were back. apart from that it was great show and as a longtime def fx fan i was not dissapointed and hope to see them again soon.

batdan

batdan said on the 6th Jun, 2012

typical FL band bashing at its best

CandleMagickTJ

CandleMagickTJ said on the 6th Jun, 2012

i find it very hard to believe that this writer does "love their songs" or "more than anything i wanted to see the band succeed after 15 years away"
i was there and the energy in the room was amazing! the only people not moving were the few at the front who were watching the show thru their camera screens.....
so there was a little too much sound vibration initially... so what? it was sorted out quickly and everyone loved the show.
this review is totally unfounded and unfair. surely the author's integrity should be questioned......?
i have just read his review on motley crue 2011 and if you compare it to every other review around for it, 'lateleigh' seems to be the only person who didn't enjoy it......!
in my opinion, he's not qualified to write rock reviews.....

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 6th Jun, 2012

Damn the reviewer for giving an honest opinion and not just writing a positive review to make the fan bois/girls happy

CandleMagickTJ

CandleMagickTJ said on the 7th Jun, 2012

hmmmm....well......if you think that's the truth dude.........
what i think is "there's a guy that should have stayed home on saturday night and left the reviewing for the real fans"
lol

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 7th Jun, 2012

Leaving reviews for fan boys is the worst idea. Then all reviews would be slanted heavily in everyone’s favour.

If we left reviews to people like you, who can't even use an ellipsis correctly, I'd imagine all the reviews would be pretty fucking shit.

Lateleigh is a great reviewer. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean it's not a well written and concise review.

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 7th Jun, 2012

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg15/Paperman230/Randy_Marsh_covered_in_ectoplasm.jpg

CandelMagick's review

Fake Plastic Android

Fake Plastic Android said on the 7th Jun, 2012

Probs not too different to what Fiona Horne looked like a few hours after the gig.

Sunbernd

Sunbernd said on the 7th Jun, 2012

stick with the pet shop boys lateleigh - obviously more your thing. brisbane show was a blast!

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 7th Jun, 2012

Nice gay slur, fuckwit. Go back to that mid-nineties slum in your deadshit brain and leave us in the 21st century in peace.

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 7th Jun, 2012

Petshop boys were so sick at glasto imo

I picked lateleigh as more of a wham/george michael fan tbh

Epedra

Epedra said on the 8th Jun, 2012

what do you think? post your comment...

Epedra

Epedra said on the 8th Jun, 2012

everyone has a right to like or dislike an artist or band. but the issue here is the alleged inaccuarcy of some things said in review. the hundreds of actual def fx fans had a great night. and nothing a couple of born nobody always going to be nobody's can say anything to change it!!! def fx have already proved their metal!!!! you cant change history!!!!!!

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 8th Jun, 2012

New recruitment tactic from FL? Pick a negative review, get the band to post about it and ask their fans to go there with positive messages, BAM new forum members.

I'm for it.

I especially like the ones who are saying, "This couldn't POSSIBLY be true, I was at a completely different show and it was great!"

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 8th Jun, 2012



Yet another reminder that the English language should be a privilege, not a right.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 8th Jun, 2012



What were the alleged inaccuracies?

Is the definition of an 'actual Def FX fan' someone who is blind to the failings of their mediocre idols?

lateleigh

lateleigh said on the 8th Jun, 2012

C'mon people, if you really wanna slam my taste in music let's talk about how underrated I think Jedward are.

Epedra

Epedra said on the 10th Jun, 2012

gee i wonder how many people are now going to go & check out def fx music as result of this forum??? isnt all publicity good publicity?????

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 10th Jun, 2012

I checked them out and realised I hate them and you.

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 10th Jun, 2012

I saw a minute of that video posted about and realised fuck that

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 10th Jun, 2012



Oh yeah absolutely. I spend all my time trawling forums, and when I see people trashing a one-hit 90's band's reformation tour I think "Gee, that's a band I HAVE to check out."

Epedra

Epedra said on the 10th Jun, 2012

def fx youtube vids getting more hits in last 4 days, compared 2 previous four weeks combined. coincidence?? auf wiedersehen muppets!

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 11th Jun, 2012

Wow, old people REALLY don't get how the internet works.

tyler07

tyler07 said on the 11th Jun, 2012

So where is that boob that was mentioned?

bigval

bigval said on the 11th Jun, 2012

Well the Adelaide gig was last night and I must admit I would've gone if Insurge were playing. PTPP is still an awesome album and hopefully they make it to Adelaide soon.

On Def FX, I used to like them back in the mid-late 90's but I lost all respect for Fiona Horne when she got the enormous boob job and then appeared on the one season of the Australian Survivor TV show and proceeded to bathe naked in the creek/valley there and show off the new boobs at every opportunity (any time a camera was near her).

Massive sell-out.

dj ian maiden

dj ian maiden said on the 11th Jun, 2012

http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/gallery/28014/def-fx-reunion-tour/photo#25

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 12th Jun, 2012

http://ic.f.tsatic-cdn.net/1215/277_416/0f831_1215445.jpg

Jestarrr

Jestarrr said on the 12th Jun, 2012



Seems like he kept clicking buttons randomly until he found the youtube data section

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 12th Jun, 2012



waaaait a minute

http://cdn1.hark.com/images/000/048/855/48855/original.

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 12th Jun, 2012

I just vomited a little in my mouth.

princess1978

princess1978 said on the 13th Jun, 2012

went to addy show, deffx singer is stunning!........sorry boys afta that im goin fully lesbian hottt reowwwwwwww

Nosyt

Nosyt said on the 13th Jun, 2012



and nothing of value was lost