Performing their 1973 fourth studio album ‘Faust IV’ in its entirety, German Kratrock band Faust returned to London for an extremely rare live appearance. The band was an ensemble of ten members on strings, percussion, woodwind and keyboards.

They began playing in the dark on string piece ‘Run’; a slow medley of violin, cello and double bass after which came a long pause whilst the audience worked out if that was the end of the song. Band founder Jean-Hervé Péron then spoke to the audience and introduced ‘Just A Second (Starts Like That!)’ – a clumsy mash of thundery drumbeats and cymbal crashes from the band’s two drumkits moving into a second phase of whistling firework sounds to the end of the track. ‘Giggy Smile’ followed with Péron’s daughter on vocals and rhythmic jangle and flute instrumentals.

Faust moved onto ‘Läuft…Heisst Das Es Läuft Oder Es Kommt Bald…Läuft’ getting the audience to mirror a series of claps with Péron on pastoral acoustic guitar and vocals. They then performed ‘The Sad Skinhead’ and returned for an encore of ‘Krautrock’, Canesquea drum-driven and lasting around 15 minutes, with Anthony Moore (Slapp Happy) on electric guitar and Chris Cutler (Henry Cow) drums.

15/11/21: Faust @ Union Chapel, London.

© Ayisha Khan.