The Fantômas Melvins Big Band - Live From London 2006 DVD
Ipecac Recordings
Avant-Garde
21 songs (1:18:13)
Release year: 2008
Ipecac Recordings
Reviewed by Goat

A rare performance from these two cult bands in their conjoined incarnation, fans have been waiting to hear more from The Fantômas Melvins Big Band since 2002’s Millennium Monsterwork. This DVD is not that live album again, but a completely different performance, in front of a typically noisy London crowd that seems well-versed in each of the two bands’ material – although it’s worth noting that Melvins’ King Buzzo gets a bigger cheer than Mike Patton (clad in a Disneyland t-shirt) does as they individually arrive on the darkened stage, the percussive sounds of the two drummers (Dave Lombardo and Dale Crover, my god!) a great introduction to eerie opening song Sacrifice (a Flipper cover) in which Patton’s whistling and singing set the stage for a peculiar evening indeed. Let’s face it, he’s the greatest figure the extreme music underground has had for a long time, and how else would he welcome the audience than yelling and scratching his little noise pad, capering behind his sound desk like the insane DJ he is? The utterly bonkers Page 27 follows, shrieking monkey-noises from Patton and thunderous drumming and gong-walloping making for a gripping spectacle.

It’s hard to pick out highlights, as there are so damn many. Lombardo and Crover drum-duelling in Page 28, the madness of the Electric Long Thin Wire that opens up The Bit’s catchy Middle-Eastern melodies, the theme from The Omen, Melvins classic Hooch, Patton introducing the band in rhyme before the encore, and finale Spider Baby are personal favourites. I could rave about the musicianship – Trevor Dunn on bass, boys and girls, Trevor Dunn! – but fans of these two bands will already know all about that, and frankly, if you aren’t a fan of either then Live From London 2006 will go way over your head. This is pretty challenging music after all. Still, even if you can’t stand the Avant-Garde side of music and accidently purchase this, you can console yourself with the amusing hidden commentary, with members of the band and their booking agent and manager. “What’s so great about that?” I hear you ask... well, when your manager is the one and only Danny DeVito, then let’s face it, you’re twice as cool, and listening to him and the others chatting about pretty much anything, from taking the piss out of Coldplay to how Marlon Brando used to go chatting online each night as a Chinese girl, is a fun way to wind down after the intensity of the show. Otherwise, there are no extras, and whilst some backstage interviews, especially with the typically reclusive Patton, would’ve been great, as it is this is an excellent DVD, with great sound and picture.

Killing Songs :
Sacrifice, Page 28, The Bit, The Omen, Hooch, Cape Fear, Page 29, Spider Baby
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