❉ We Are Cult’s Ange Chan reports back from Fiat Lux’s first gig in 35 years!
“There is a certain Fiat Lux sound which hasn’t dissipated over the passing decades, and their musicality is as rich and meaningful as it ever was.”
This weekend I was privileged enough to witness something that I’ve waited 35 years for.
Once-in-a-lifetime a band comes along that really touches your heart and soul. You really “get” them. In 1983, that band was Fiat Lux. They released six fabulous singles, weren’t massively successful, but I LOVED THEM. Their music completely resonated and I had their photos proudly displayed on my teenage bedroom wall. I shamelessly adored Steve Wright, their lead singer; he was right up there along with Nick Rhodes and David Sylvian in my youthful affections.
Unfortunately circumstances dictated that I was never going to see them live during my teenage years and their elusiveness only increased my love for the band. Then in 1985 David P Crickmore left Fiat Lux to pursue other musical interests and has remained in the industry, producing music and performing with The D’Urbervilles. Steve and fellow band member Ian Nelson continued as a duo, but didn’t release any further material. Eventually they too disbanded and Steve left to join a couple of bands before leaving the music industry to eventually become an award-winning television director.
Then, in 2017, Internet rumours were circulating that Fiat Lux were to re-form. Sadly Ian Nelson had passed away in 2006, but Steve Wright and David P Crickmore were brought together by fate and decided to give Fiat Lux a rebirth. They released a single It’s You and soon after there was news of the unreleased album Arc of Embers being released alongside Hired History.
As if that wasn’t enough to satisfy this fangirl, earlier this year there was a new album released, Saved Symmetry with all-new Fiat Lux material. As fabulous as this was, I was hopeful that the next step was to be some live dates in the pipeline. My hopes were realised when a trio of gigs were announced; the first one being at Saint Clements church in Bradford, a beautiful Arts and Crafts church, artistically adorned on the interior by Byrne Jones and William Morris.
The gig took place this weekend and I can confirm that the three and-a-half-decade wait was definitely worth it. The sublime setting was perfect for the band to showcase their music and they seemed to do so effortlessly, despite the hours of hard work which I know preceded the show.
The opening track was a new song Tuesday, a beautiful ballad which is a foretelling of love endured through the coming and going of the seasons. One by one the band members appeared on stage, through the shadowy lighting… first David, then right on cue after the long instrumental of the song, singer Steve, and finally to complete the trio the über musical talent that is Will Howard.
The song ended and before we could applaud the return of Fiat Lux, and they went straight into their very first single Feels Like Winter Again. The juxtaposition of the most recent song against the very first single wasn’t lost on the majority of the audience, and they responded in kind with rapturous applause at the end of the duo of songs.
We were subsequently treated to an array of songs both old (Photography) and new (Hold Me While You Can) with slower songs like Embers against poppier offerings like (my favourite) Blue Emotion which all dovetailed seamlessly together. There is a certain Fiat Lux sound which hasn’t dissipated over the passing decades, and their musicality is as rich and meaningful as it ever was. The grateful audience responded in kind at the end of the show when they finished their 14-song set with their best-known song, Secrets.
There was a lovely family atmosphere in the church on Saturday night. The audience were mostly of a certain age; some who had been fortunate enough to witness Fiat Lux in concert back in the day, and some of whom (like me) that this was their first time. All of us though were completely appreciative that we were witnessing something truly special and unique. I will never forget my weekend with the band and the amazing show I was privileged to witness on Saturday night. The memory of it will never leave me.
Next stop is Birmingham on 9th November at the Blue Orange Theatre in the Jewellery Quarter. Tickets are extremely limited so if you want to see something truly special, get your ticket quickly!
❉ Fiat Lux can be seen at The Blue Orange Theatre, in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, 9 November, for a live performance plus Q&A session as part of The Seventh Wave Festival of Electronic Music (Number 8); and as part of Electric Dreams Weekender, Butlins, Bognor Regis, 29 Nov-1 Dec.
❉ Ange Chan is a poet, author and frequent contributor to We Are Cult since its inception. Her current novel Champagne Flues and Pixie Boots is a work in progress that she hopes to see published in 2020.