Color Factory at the Akropolis

Noel Le Bon, Color factory

Over three hundred people crowded into the theater at Akropolis to hear Color Factory’s seasonal coming out…

Noel Le Bon, Color factoryThe classroom wooden chairs were packed as tight as humanly possible and everyone was sitting Sunday-school straight throughout the whole mellow affair.

The Prague music scene can be desperately dull and Color Factory are one of the few unique acts around. That’s why their performance was somewhat disappointing. Color Factory seems stuck on one chord, one color if you will. Indeed the name is something of misnomer as the band is producing one color, purple perhaps. It’s a rich, velvety purple but one color all the same.

The band loses the opportunity to really color the music because it seems to actively frown on any of the soloists really stepping up and saying something. The band is notoriously rock-star weary, and though there is surely something to be admired in their humility, the music is clearly suffering from not taking that next step.

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Color Factory is on EMI and have the potential to reach a really wide audience. Seeing them I couldn’t help but think how they seem on the cusp of being a really professional, international act. Some of their songs are truly beautiful, lush compositions, ripe with emotion and vivid landscapes.

Others, particularly the ones with lyrics written by Tereza Nekudova, are tedious and sophomoric with embarrassing lyrics about unicorns and trite observations on love. Still, teenage kids would probably really eat it up. A highlight of the evening, and a showcase of the band’s center of talent, was Colin Stuart’s solo rendition of ‘Universal Soldier’, which was well played and truly poignant in light of what’s going on in the world.

Sitting upright in those communist chairs I was reminded of another recent show at Akropolis. The American band Low play a quiet style of music, considerably darker than Color Factory but the aesthetics of the music are not too far off. Low have truly refined the course of their music and they say something directly. I couldn’t but wonder what Color Factory would sound like if they too were able to fully realize what they have so far only conceptually hinted at in their music.