Live Review: Fictonian – London


fictonian St Pancras Old Church London, 16th July 2015

 Words: Lauren Grigor

Fictonian opens to a great reception from the crowd, yet seems a little withdrawn. The venue could be a tricky one as there are church pews where people are sitting relaxed and arm in arm. The energy is chilled out and him and the band ease into the first track amongst a few feedback and sound issues. I’m very warmed up in time for the next song and his most recent single, Make It Be Ours and this is probably my favourite and one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard this year. Its a love song that is honest and innocent with a musical sound that contrasts as being concise and mature. His vocals are strong and fit with the passionate nature of the song.

Loud drums take us into Moira Junction, and the set has been officially established, all members on stage are in the same zone and no longer do I feel like Fictonian is this mysterious, unattainable artist. The song has a beautiful build-up and utilises slightly more unusual instruments like a melodica. He is no doubt incredibly invested in his sound, this is clear from hearing the complexity on the recorded songs and seeing him having such a large band on stage. This is where Fictonian shows he deserves to be announced as a solo artist, with a band – The Hat has a significant keys component so it shows integrity that he chooses to put the guitar down and play them himself. At this point he slowly introduces the rest of the band, who are on the same level as him in terms of energy and humbleness. He introduces what was his second single Double Negative as “A little Ditty” and it is an incredibly sweet song which ends almost abruptly before moving into Little Blue Book.
This is a track the delivers a wall of noise after a few bars of unassuming bright major notes – and is one of the reasons why Fictonian continues to surprise. His sound is unique because every song sounds like it could have come from someone or somewhere else. He shocks in the best possible way. His lyrics are poignant and simple, “we all cry some days, we’ll all die one day” delivered in an uplifting melody with all the instruments and harmonies behind his strong voice. There’s even African Tribal choir vocals resonating throughout – again – it’s not something that seems British at all.

By the time we get into Kettle of Fish, I wish we we standing! Again he is getting bigger and bigger sound and it would be great to have a little sway and build up the energy in the crowd. Fictonian finishes on his first release Full Circle Influence, A track that sounds inherently non-English, with sort of Arabian feeling, walking melodies and slightly darker, dreamier and raspier vocals. He has a sound reminiscent of an early T-Rex – just a little less psychedelic and a lot more approachable in lyrics I’m very excited to see what else Fictonian has to offer. He has a vision and will continue to see it flourish throughout 2015. Hopefully a standing venue with slightly better acoustics next time to really showcase his skills.

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