When you walk into the Forum Theatre there is a certain sense of class, elegance and a feeling of another time, and for the most part Flight Facilities were able to incorporate all of those elements into their album launch show. Their album Down To Earth had only been released a few weeks prior, but the hype it caused appeared to excite the sold out theatre. Nonetheless, Flight Facilities still managed to exceed everyone’s expectations and put on a thoroughly entertaining hour-long dance pop concert.
The first cab off the rank was Melbourne favorites Client Liaison. Dressed in flawless in-vogue 80s outfits, Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller AO played earlier singles like ‘Feeling’ and ‘Free Of Fear’ to paint the Client Liaison landscape for an uninformed crowd. Educating the sizable audience further on the Client Liaison aesthetic, they brought Harvey’s brother Geordie onto the stage to shred along to his INXS-esque guitar tones to the sounds of ‘Groove The Physical’, ‘Queen’ and the duo’s latest single ‘Feed The Rhythm’. Closing their set with ‘Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight’ and ‘End Of The Earth’, Client liaison achieved their duties as the supports and sufficiently warmed up the Forum Theatre for the main act of the evening.
With only a 20-minute break between acts, Flight Facilities promptly arrived onto the stage. Wearing representations of different era of pilot outfits, Hugo Gruzman and Jimmy Lyell popped up from behind their turntables positioned behind a giant light up representation of the Flight Facilities logo. With such an impressive stage setup, it was clear that this show was going to be entertaining till the very end. Kicking off with the first track from their debut album ‘Two Bodies’, a ‘mod chic’-looking Owl Eyes picked up her microphone and sang Emma Louise’s part perfectly. Owl Eyes is of course Australian Idol alumni-come-good Brooke Addamo, who for the duration of the performance nailed every single vocal part.
Up next was the relatively unknown Kurt Kristen, who came out rocking a slick suit and ponytail. His voice had some real character to it — which was perfect for the bittersweet love song ‘With You’. Although a sad song at heart, the infectiously positive energy of the performance made it hard to feel somber as dancing just appeared easier. Kristen’s vocal tones sat perfectly amongst the rest of the set with the songs ‘Hold You Down’ (although, it’s disappointing that Monte Morgan was not used in that performance, as it would have been perfect) and the predicted song of the summer, ‘Sunshine’.
The duo’s disk jockeying abilities became more apparent as the show went on. They mixed a gorgeous sample of ‘Pure Imagination’ from the 1971 film Willy Wonka Andthe Chocolate Factory with the musical masterpiece of the album ‘Claire De Lune’. They also worked in a cover of Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’ alongside their track ‘Stand Still’, where Owl Eyes made her mark as the star of the show once again. They wove in and out of genres, from upbeat pop to gritty underground Berlin disco. It’s clear that Flight Facilities have done their dues as disk jockeys around the clubs of Sydney and the world.
Closing the set with an encore of John Paul Young’ s ‘Love Is In The Air’, the duo invited all of the performers of the night to dance on stage. Their happiness was overwhelming as they remarked “This is the biggest venue we have ever played”. Even Client Liaison came on stage to celebrate with what appeared to be a real team. Flight Facilities put on a terrific pop show despite their lack of live instrumentation, all the while taking the backseat and letting the vocalists entertain. It’s a testament to both their character and ability that they were able to pull it all off so seamlessly.