By Liza Jill Meyers of Indie Band Guru
Photographed by Steph Brescia of Indie Band Guru
Fable Cry is a band possessed — and more demented than the Grimms, if you dare — not by daemons, but by storytellers of old, the kind you find in cloaks in a dark alleyway with spindly fingers.
On April Fool’s Night, I had the distinct pleasure of watching this cast of characters get into character in their debut New York performance at Pianos. I was one of the lucky audience members taken along for the ride by this tribe of gypsies.
Fable Cry Live is a True Event
Fable Cry constructing their stage was like a magic show. Instruments unfolding from vintage suitcases, the lead singer/guitarist, Zach, setting up the merchandise in a portable vanity, with red velvet curtains, a black crow, and a skull mask.
Zach himself, a cross between a male version of Esmeralda and Clopin, with contoured cheeks and a gold hoop earring, was clad in all black with a scarf around his left leg and one attached to his hip, topped with a black rimmed hat.
From the onset, Fable Cry’s energy was like a twisted smile, animated but maniacal. In your inner-ear, imagine the fiddle sounds of Jo’s violin paired with Zach’s staccato vocals, the winding staircase sound from Scott’s twelve-string bass, and Rachel playing with the tempo and timing of the drums like play-dough.
For their third song, “Onion Grin” (“because sometimes smiles can be stinky,” as Zach said), Fable Cry turns the story of Little Red Riding Hood on its head, and their audience ate right out of the palm of their hand. The rugged quality of the music and the rawness of the band hooked their anticipating and participating audience right into a cultural trance.
“The Zoo of No Return” opened the door to “the gate of demonic critters.” Zach’s mastermind of voices and Rachel’s beastly beating echoed against the layer of octaves from Scott’s bass — the booming wails of a ghost, and the shrieking cries of an old woman — creating a filmy eeriness.
“Fancy dancing” came next, commencing with Rachel howling. Like a witch’s spell, the crying violin, foot-stepping guitar, haunting three-part harmony, and forked tongue and zippering sounds of the bass brewed an undertone of demonic delight, an unnerving ballroom whirring.
Crowd Completely Entranced
Zach spoke to the crowd then, already putty in Fable Cry’s hands, falling for the wolf’s tricks like Little Red. He demanded the audience move closer to the stage for intimacy and “close enough for a trust fall.” Fable Cry reeled their audience in, physically and viscerally, taking command of the prisoners caught in their web.
Their next song, “I Killed Her,” had me thinking about Guns N’ Roses lines: “I used to love her, but I had to kill her.” If you are a GN’R fan like me, then you would be surprised to know that Fable Cry’s “I Killed Her” makes “Used to Love Her” sound tame. On the surface it appears jovial, with a 50s sound and the comical cartoon noise from a sliding whistle, played by Jo, but the words tell a different story: “You ain’t my baby no more.”
Photo by Steph Brescia
Jo, the troupe’s prop-master, popped opening a black and white stripped carnival umbrella at the line “standing in the rain,” making “I Killed Her” the most interactive song of the set. But the showstopper was when Zach held up a dead mannequin’s decapitated head in shuddering hands, high above the audience, like a trophy.
Towards the end of the show, Fable Cry played “Hobo Wicked Fix.” Inviting you into their world of lunacy, Zach walked down the four steps leading to the stage, like a Pirate’s plank, becoming one with his audience and becoming a wicked train conductor.
“Do you know Elvis?” an audience member called out from the crowd before their last song. With the minutest of beats, Zach replied, “I’m his son.” And that was how the show closed, with what is most likely Zach’s father’s favorite song, “Dead or Alive (For Now).”
Fable Cry knows how to spin a yarn; and by spinning the curly notes of Jo’s violin’s vibrato together with her jazzy vocals and the dark and high-pitched poltergeist vocals of Zach, and Scott’s feverish strumming and Rachel’s carousel intensity, Fable Cry has captured the impossible: a moving and colorful black and white portrait.
One reply on “Fable Cry Spins Their Web Live @ Pianos”
This is certainly the most accurate and amazing review on Fable Cry. yet! WELL DONE!