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Fosca - London Water Rats, 2/8/2002

  by Julia Willis

published: 8 / 8 / 2002

Fosca - London Water Rats, 2/8/2002


No trainers but dress shoes, and red wine drunk on stage instead of beer ? A kitsch but cool set of programme notes handed out to all who enter ? Julia Willis attends the very unconventional launch gig for Fosca's second album 'Diary of an Antibody'

"…Thank you for choosing to spend your Friday evening with us. We are boundlessly grateful and will do our level best to entertain. Or at least, be entertaining…" Filtering into the dancehall of the bordello, a piece of paper is thrust into my hands. Printed on both sides I look down at what appears to be a programme. Fosca become glittering Bohemian theatrics as we swirl back to Montmartre at the turn of the century and the piece of paper becomes an ostentatious master of ceremonies announcing the spectacular. Thus we are introduced via the kitsch but cool programme notes to the launch show, or rather, event, of ‘Diary of an Antibody’, their second album, the foreword I detect characteristically written in lead singer Dickon’s antiquated, florid, flamboyant style. Offering the audience a programme is very Fosca. Demure and whimsical, they take to the stage in costume, having a collective ban on wearing trainers on the premise that, if we’ve bothered to part with money to see them, they had better be worth seeing. Dressing up is very Fosca. "… frolicking with abandon on stage in aural and visual dimensions for your own personal delight…" As the audience huddle in the hot, crowded room, Dickon, resplendent a la mode and finely coiffured, quietens the hum of the assemblage and announces they will play each of the songs from the album in order. They will begin however with ‘Storytelling Johnny’ from their first long player to introduce the instruments and thus the chic musicians one by one. "…eight pop songs in a row, then one drag-queen ballad, then a mid-tempo postscript in which all the loose threads of the album’s themes are tied up neatly, if you’ve been listening properly at the back…" Kate absently sips on a glass of red wine in her long gown.Rachel chews detachedly on her gum fixing the crowd a gaze, vogue in monochrome. Sheila sits poised and tailored as Dickon strikes a pose a tortured yet triumphant outsider. "… there’s the exotic and disdainful Fosca… the vain popinjays…" Gloriously intellectual, personal, sardonic lyrics follow entwined in capricious whimsy. The timeless tale of rejection and unrequited love ‘I’m on your side’ lights up the room. Dickon sings his translucent, tragicomic 'Danny La Rue’ number to the balcony, mascara running and rouge smudged and they end with the sensational ‘Rude Esperanto’ the peak of the evening and ironically, the finale. The crowd disperse into the cool evening air cocooned by the triumphant finish, repleat with opulence and swallowed by the bustling streets of the station. They don’t do encores. Very Fosca. The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Matthew D. Williams

Picture Gallery:-
Fosca - London Water Rats, 2/8/2002

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