I’m sitting with a group of musicians in a hazy bar. “Can you guys give me a quick spiel about your live act for your Berlin gig?” I ask. This is The Phoenix Foundation, a group from Wellington, New Zealand. I just saw them perform at Amsterdam’s Sugar Factory, and managed to get a chance to meet up with them after a polished soundscape of a set. “Do you want me to say it like a press release?” says Samuel Flynn-Scott – who fronts the band along with his long time musical collaborator Luke Buda. “Just off the cuff is fine,” I respond. “I’ve kind of got it in my head like a press release,” he says. I’m curious and want to hear it. “Psychedelic New Zealand six piece The Phoenix Foundation bring their mesmerising live show to Berlin for one night. They’re on tour for their new album ‘Give Up Your Dreams’. Their show will be trippy, beautiful, one of a kind, and is not to be missed,” he says. Then after a quick pause, “Is that the kind of thing?” “Yeah, I think that pretty much nails it,” I reply. “Now I feel empty inside,” he says.
Berlin is the last destination for the band on their brief European tour, which has seen them dash through the U.K. Belgium, the Netherlands and now on to Germany. It’s a nod to the band’s loyal European following that the six-member ensemble got together to tour from the furthest southern reach of the globe. The Phoenix Foundation first formed fifteen years ago, though has been through a number of band-member changes since. The current settled lineup is drummer Chris O’Connor, percussionist Will Ricketts, multi-instrumentalist Conrad Wedde, and Tom Callwood on bass along with Flynn-Scott and Buda both on vocals and guitars and sometimes keys. “So are you guys gonna do anything special for your final show?” I ask. Buda is quick to respond. “At the end of the gig Chris is gonna blow up. He’s gonna spontaneously combust, and everyone’s gonna be like ‘what the fuck? The drummer blew up.’” Combusting drummer notwithstanding, the gig will be great. Get your good self along to Kantine Berghain on Tuesday and check it.