Live Review: The Fresh & Only’s Memorable Return to Berlin

Colette Pomerleau / November 8, 2017

Last Monday night, PUSCHEN hosted a surprisingly memorable night in Berlin’s waterfront venue, Marie Antoinette. The Fresh & Only’s have been a long-time psych-garage institution and have been touring the EU to support their newest release Wolf Lie Down. The live lineup featured two new members: Frank Ene (Pure Bliss, Chineke) on bass and Ian McBrayer (Sonny & the Sunsets) on drums. The band’s founding and long-running members, frontman Tim Cohen and guitarist Wymond Miles reconnected with their rowdy psych roots while the two newer collaborators brought in a noticeable fresh energy.

Marie Antoinette feels part fancy, part dive. With the venue’s hoarding of chandeliers hovering over the dirty Berlin-esque interior landscape, the crowd of dedicated fans had room to dance as hard as they could. So we all did.

The warmup was audience pleaser “Summer of Love”. I couldn’t help but soften over this and noticed other audience members were letting themselves be romanced by this one too. Things escalated once front row movers spun around the room, taking the arms of whoever would grab on. I stood in the middle, swaying at my own pace to new favourites and built up physical intensity as the old ones came through.

This new era of the band has been described over and over again as their “triumphant return”, though it’s important to mention this era does not disregard their past. It took more than a digital stream of Wolf Lie Down to believe it. Now that I’ve experienced this new era in the flesh, I’m completely behind that bold statement.

The remaining tour dates for the year are in San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop on Friday December 8th, and Denver’s Hi-Dive on Saturday December 30th. Feel free to enjoy their new video for “Impossible Man”. The video is a proper neon-storytelling adventure of Tim Cohen’s near-fatal birth.

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