Everyone has their own take on what makes a great front-man/woman. It can be how they can control a crowd to how they are in interviews. There are various reasons as to what makes them great- everyone’s take on it is different.
Of course I regard Morrissey and Jim Reid (The Jesus And Mary Chain) to be the greatest front-men ever. However, there is someone else I hold as highly as these two.
This person towers of the mic stand, you are instantly attracted to him- in whatever way, that’s up to you. You look at him and you are amazed that someone so young can control a crowd in a way many spend years trying to do. Usually dressed head to toe in black, to some- they may be scared of him. But that’s only because people are small-minded twats aren’t they. Those that love the band he fronts know that he is a work of art. He is a genius. So are his band mates.
The man in question is non other than Faris Badwan from The Horrors. Since Morrissey and Jim Reid I honestly don’t think I have ever been so captivated by a front man. He paces the stage like lion, he owns the stage. He doesn’t have to succumb to meaningless talk with the audience to control them. He has this presence that just draws you in.
Watching early performances of The Horrors, Faris goes mental during songs such as Gloves and Death at the Chapel- watching these early performances you find it hard to believe that in a few years time, he will look all majestic and peaceful singing Sea Within A Sea.
It isn’t just with live performances that Faris grips you, it’s the interviews he does. Whether he’s talking about The Horrors, Cat’s Eyes or his artwork- you can just sense the passion he feels towards what he does. He doesn’t have to be all smiles and leaping around for you to see just how much he loves what he does. It comes out with the words he uses to describe it all.
One thing that I have always found fascinating about Faris is his love for girl groups. The real sense of girl groups such as The Girlfriends and The Ronettes. He incorporates these influences into The Horrors music and of course, with Rachel Zeffira in Cat’s Eyes.
The sincerity when he talks about what he does and his love for it is greater than most. Why? Well, because those that don’t care as much always feel the need to justify and explain what they do, why they do it and who they do it for.
Surely, if you love something….have a passion for something- you never need to justify it because the true meaning is in you, in your heart.
Constantly Fairs has been compared to the likes of Kevin Shields and Jim Reid, especially since Primary Colours and even more so with Skying. In some respects you can see these comparisons, from how he stands on stage to how he sings but to be honest- that’s all there is. Jim Reid never looked as majestic as a lion whilst pacing up and down the stage. It’s just lazy journalism comparing Faris to these two.
Also, why should he or anyone be compared to others? Especially when they are doing something different.
Although I dislike the station a hell of a lot, having The Horrors be placed on the Radio 1 play list is a bloody good achievement. If you listen (and I feel sorry for you if you do) to Radio 1, you are constantly exposed to the same songs every hour. There is nothing different; every single song is the same.
To have song such as Still Life being play listed doesn’t just help The Horrors, but it gives hope to bands that are doing something different the chance to be heard by the masses.
Maybe those that get into The Horrors will not love Strange House. They may just dismiss it as noise. It isn’t noise, it’s Garage Rock.
What I love about The Horrors is that their music makes you feel like you are listening to them in the 60s. You know, when music actually meant something. Stood for something. To have a band like The Horrors make the music that they make now is just beyond.
Many have regarded Faris as being “difficult” in interviews, but they’re missing the point. He’s not someone you are going to get pointless information out of such as “favourite kind of dog.” He’s a musician; therefore he will talk about his music, and only music. That’s how it should be. Not just with him, but all musicians. We do not need to know about their personal lives, it is highly irrelevant. We aren’t their close friends or family- therefore, it isn’t our business.
Last year Faris joined The Vaccines on stage at Chazzstock (memorial gig for Charlie Haddon from Ou Est Le Swimming Pool) and although he was only on stage for two songs, his presence was indescribable. I couldn’t believe he was stood right in front of me.
This October, I’m finally seeing The Horrors live (The Kills are also joining them, I cannot contain my excitement about this) since the EP before Strange House I have loved The Horrors, that’s 2006 I have been a massive fan. I’ve waited too long to see them, so to see one of my favourite bands live this year is a big deal.
I wish I saw them during the Strange House era- to see Faris climb over speakers, cover the crowd in black paint, launch himself at the crowd- it would’ve been such a good atmosphere. Something a lot of bands lack. However, to be able to hear tracks from Primary Colours (hopefully) and Skying will make up for it.
I’m all for listening to whatever you want, but if you listen to Sea Within A Sea or Endless Blue and still dislike The Horrors, then you should probably get yourself a new record collection.
I firmly believe in 10, 20 years from now people will name The Horrors as one of the greatest bands to have come from the UK and will also name Faris Badwan to be one of the greatest front-men ever.