Fractures in Sydney – Live Review
Spending Saturday night in a church might not sound like the most exciting of pastimes, but when it involves being serenaded by Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Mark Zito, better known as Fractures, then it’s actually pretty awesome, thank you very much.
Paddington Uniting Church in Sydney is a lovely venue, as perhaps you would expect, and was drenched in red lighting as a smattering of punters enjoyed a stellar support performance from Sydney-based artist Fieldings and her band. The description on her Facebook page says her music is “like a bag of whizz fizz getting hot and heavy with Magritte.” I’m not really sure whether that is accurate, tbh, but her psychedelic dream-pop was charming and interesting and deserved a bigger audience.
As did Fractures. Indeed, Mark Zito even thanked attendees for sitting down, as it made the room seem more full. He was doing himself a slight disservice though, as the large venue had filled out nicely enough by the time his performance was underway. Those who decided to spend their Saturday evening elsewhere missed a set of nuanced, intelligently-crafted and atmospheric songs from Zito and his backing band. Playing tracks from his acclaimed, self-titled EP, the delivery was soulful and suitably ethereal for a church setting. Zito proved himself to be an engaging presence on stage too, chatting comfortably to the audience and cracking the funnies between songs.
The only minor downside to what was an otherwise beguiling night was the moderately disappointing sound. Whether this was due to the PA system, the mix, or perhaps the dynamic of the room, at times things were very muddy and some of the subtleties of the Fractures songs were somewhat lost. I originally assumed that the room just wasn’t right for such layering of sound and that perhaps it was more suited to simple acoustic gigs where there is lots of space in the music, but then there was a moment towards the end where Zito was talking between songs – with no instruments being played – and it was almost impossible to hear what we was saying. So maybe it was the mix or the PA after all.
Anyway, this wasn’t a major concern. While it would have been nice to hear these beautiful Fractures songs as clearly as possible, it still felt special to be in an intimate environment with one of Australia’s rising stars. If he continues on his current trajectory, he’ll be playing to much bigger crowds in Sydney soon enough. Amen to that.