When I was given the opportunity to see Flight Facilities two weekends ago at The Vogue Theatre I jumped at the chance. The last time the duo made their way to our fairF Vancouver they graced Fortune Sound Club, and even at that time though they had yet to release an album, I knew the opportunity to see them in such an intimate venue would not pass my way again. Okay, perhaps “intimate” isn’t the best word to describe the sweaty grind box that is Fortune Sound Club. Intimate is a term more suited to cafés played at by acoustic-guitar-toting songstresses than one of the hottest bars with the best sound system in town. No, intimate is not Fortune Sound Club. Smaller? More personal? Maybe. In any case, The Vogue still is no Roger’s Arena and after the show they put on at the former, I would be willing to put money on the fact that the next time they’re out our way, they’ll be at the Commodore, or bigger.
In 2010, two little known DJs from Australia, going by two different names: Hugo & Jimmy and the more recognised, Flight Facilities, hit the airwaves with a song that would put them on the map. “Crave You” feat. Giselle blessed ears first in their home country and then made its way around the world. Soon, Giselle’s dreamy vocals could be heard floating over electronic toms on alternative radio stations, in spas, and on dance floors alike. It was the song that fit the bill no matter what the situation; it set the mood. After it’s release, “Crave You” spurred a multitude of solely dance floor appropriate reworks and remixes that satiated some people’s desire for more, but for audiophiles like myself, these only whet our appetites and left us waiting with baited breath for the announcement of a full length LP. As time crawled on, “Crave You” slowly became the song everyone knew, but nobody could remember who it was by and the more they kept us on the edge of our seats, the greater the need became for this album to be solid from beginning to end.
While we bided our time, they remained active and teased our senses with a track here and there, they became known for their remixes of other artists and they even toured but still no album. Then finally, last October, to surprisingly little fanfare, they dropped Down to Earth. Releasing your first single four years before your debut album drops is a bold move. It requires a certain amount of tenacity and confidence that the track you’re sending out into the stratosphere is solid enough to keep people waiting, wanting more. Flight Facilities did just that and they tested our (my) patience, but let me tell you, it was worth the wait. The album is seamless with not a single skip-button-prompting track. Featuring the vocal talents of a myriad of artists from the internationally acclaimed Kylie Minogue, the lesser known and also Australian Owl Eyes, to comedian Reggie Watts, their debut album did not cease to impress from beginning to end and has been on rotation through my ear buds since its release.
Needless to say, I was pretty stoked to see them.
The show was late for an all ages gig, and to be honest the set was a little short, but from the moment Hugo and Jimmy set foot on stage in their cute little pilot outfits (complete with ear-flapped hats and goggles), to when they stepped off a little over an hour later, they didn’t stop. They played all their hits with Owl Eyes (featured on the track “Heart Attack”) who filled in for all the female vocals and Surahn Sidhu covering the males’. Although a little pitchy at times, the singers did a great job, their energy feeding the crowd who didn’t stop dancing the entire time. Blue and red lights filled the theatre while Jimmy and Hugo carried the show from behind the turntables donned by the recognizable Flight Facilities logo. They not only played their own tracks, but paid homage to dance music veterans by sampling the likes of French House greats Modjo and Daft Punk. The only critique I have, and it may have just been from where we were standing, is that the DJs were in the dark and difficult to see. Other than that, it was a great night and they have definitely proved that they are here to stay and I, personally, am excited to see what they do next. The four years were worth the wait.
WORDS: Mikhaila Searle
PHOTOGRAPHY: Sylvia Tennant