Live Review: Fat White Family, The Harley, Sheffield (17/02/14)

Music press buzz band, Fat White Family, arrive in Sheffield on their first independent excursion outside of their native South London, bringing all their fun and games in tow: scuzzy tunes, nudity and faeces.

Over the past six months, Fat White Family have earned themselves a notorious reputation. Alongside their organ-led Gun Club rock n roll is a care-free attitude all too rare nowadays. How often are ‘rules actually meant to be broken’? Always, if you’re the Fat White Family.

A quick nod to Hipshakes, who opened proceedings with their take on ’76 punk, and Phobophobes‘ psychedelic, off-kilter rowdiness that proved the perfect introduction to what was to soon follow.

They are on the verge of becoming the most exciting band in Britain.

Fat White Family take to the stage only shortly after their designated 9.30 stage time – one of the few rules to go unbroken tonight. Opening with the expansive jam that is ‘Auto Neutron’, Fat Whites set their stall out: groove-based and eerie organ-dominated, though interspersed with moments of indiscernible vocals and loud, sleazy guitar.

‘Is It Raining In Your Mouth?’ follows. Arguably their most accessible release to date, it’s almost greeted as a fan favourite. Almost. What then follows is complete twenty-first century debauchery. Yes, the tunes are there: ‘Cream Of The Young’ sleazes along magnificently; ‘I Am Mark E Smith’ sounds eerily Fall-like; ‘Special Ape’ verges on American pop-punk; and ‘Bomb Disneyland’ is rotten rock n roll to the core.

It isn’t the music, however, that takes centre-stage. Known for their nudity (see the video to new single ‘Touch The Leather’), the Fat Whites take this night that one step further. Lead singer Lias is completely nude from the waist down from song two onwards, even receiving a rather uncomfortable, and unerring, piggyback from a punter. He then appears to smear his own excrement across his face, as if applying warpaint. The gig finishes as a fire extinguisher is set off and fired into the crowd. Well if you can’t afford dry ice…

Fat White Family are certainly living up to their oft-quoted description as ‘the most exciting band in London’. They are also, however, on the verge of becoming the most exciting band in Britain. Tunes aplenty, yes. But excitement on tap.

Fat White Family will play Nottingham’s Bodega on Monday 24th February 2014. Don’t miss out.

Alex Neely

…Alex is listening to Communions – Cobblestones EP…

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One Comment
  • Anonymous
    19 February 2014 at 19:51
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    excrement on tap?

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