Last Night: Fiction Plane at House of Blues

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Fiction Plane November 22, 2007 House of Blues

Better Than: Thanksgiving Postprandial Exhaustion

So. Fiction Plane played last night in the Cambridge Room at the House of Blues. Fiction who, you ask? Fiction Plane. A more appropriate spelling would be p-l-a-I-n. As in vanilla. Or very dry turkey with extra tryptophan. Ergh.

Well. So be it. That’s what’s the overpriced bar is for. I could happily end my review here and talk about my girl-crush on Natalie Portman. She’s unusually hot. But…

Fiction Plane is a three piece rock band from the U.K. The group just wrapped up a world tour opening up for The Police. The Police? That’s a great gig! How did some young insipid band score that gig, you ask? Well, Joe Sumner, the lead singer, is the son of activist/musician Gordon Sumner. Gordon who? Sting. That’s who. And Fiction Plane is quite often (to the members' rumored irritation) referred to as “Sting’s Son’s Band.” Trust me, if Sting’s Son’s Band weren’t riding high on music industry nepotism, it would most likely be playing in Sting’s Son’s garage. Trust me.

The fuzzy-alt-rock songs were generic and lackluster spliced with a few moments of almost-genius. With lyrics like “We hate things. We hate things. We hate people,” I found myself a little annoyed by the whole persona of the band. Sumner, the frontman and bass player, was charged up and enjoying David Lee Roth leaps from an oversize amp on stage with each conclusion of a song. The other two fellas -- drummer Pete Wilhoit and and guitarist Seton Daunt -- followed along and played with a little bit of verve and a lot of ho-hum. I faded out for a song, maybe two, toward the end of Fiction Plane's set to ponder the previous night’s dream about Steve Martin taking me out for Pho. Steaming noodles and humorous, intellectual banter. Yes. Oh, yes.

The room was half empty (or half full) and there seemed to be more patrons pondering than rocking-out.

And, then, it was over. Meh.

I spent a quick minute back stage with the band after its set and discovered that despite the group's neophyte lyrics, the theories behind the band name was somewhat interesting and thoughtful. “It doesn’t define us," Daunt says. "Fiction Plane allows us to be whatever we want to be…it’s not very memorable...which is annoying but….” And he’s right. The name, the show, the music all in all was not very memorable. -- Krissi Reeves

Critic's Notebook Random Detail: Joe Sumner likes Voodoo Shrimp and the Knicks. By The Way: The album cover for Fiction Plane's latest LP Left Side of the Brain is really lovely.

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