BREVIEW: Fat White Family @ O2 Institute 20.02.16

Fat White Family @ O2 Institute 20.02.16 / By Ed King @edking2210

Words by Helen Knott / Pics by Ed King

If you believe the band’s PR machine, Fat White Family are the “shot in the arm that independent rock has been ailing after.”Fat White Family @ O2 Institute 20.02.16 / By Ed King @edking2210

They’ve certainly gained plenty of notoriety since emerging from a South London squat back in 2012, but will they live up to their own hype at the O2 Institute, on the first night of an eleven date UK tour?

They do a pretty good job, for the first half an hour at least. An onslaught of songs in quick succession at the start of the set builds an early sense of momentum. Lead singer, Lias Saoudi, prowls around, topless, predatory, his hand occasionally creeping down his trousers. He’s a great front man, obnoxious to the point of almost being disgusting; commanding total attention from the excitable audience.

A particular crowd favourite is ‘Satisfied’, the second track of the band’s most recent album, Songs for Our Mothers. Typical of the album as a whole, ‘Satisfied’ has somewhat crass lyrics, at one point comparing a blowjob to life in a concentration camp. The words are lost live though, and you’re left with a sleazy foot stomper with a killer chorus. It’s probably for the best.

Mid-set the pace slows a little and the momentum peters out; the best thing about lumbering, dull ‘Goodbye Goebbels’ is its name, whilst ‘Wild American Prairie’ is a straightforward, sluggish blues dirge.

Fat White Family @ O2 Institute 20.02.16 / By Ed King @edking2210This points my main problem with Fat White Family – their lyrics are interesting, their politics are interesting, their wild antics are interesting, but the music itself isn’t really all that interesting. They write some good riffs and some catchy songs but it can often descend into arguable Fall and Clash rip offs.

There are exceptions. Songs like ‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’, the opening track from their latest album, suggest that Fat White Family could develop into a more musically interesting proposition. The guitar line grooves along, with the breathy vocals gradually submerged by melodic synths before re-emerging with greater force; it’s almost like disco music.

So, Fat White Family – a shot in the arm for independent music? Yes, probably, they really are a spectacle of a live band. But are they independent music’s new lifeblood? That remains to be seen.

For more on Fat White Family, visit https://fatwhitefamily.bandcamp.com

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For more from the O2 Institute, visit http://o2institutebirmingham.co.uk/

For more events from SJM Concerts, visit http://www.gigsandtours.com/

BPREVIEW: Fat White Family @ O2 Institute 20.02.16

Fat White Family @ O2 Institute 20.02.16

Words by Helen Knott

On Saturday 20 February, Fat White Family perform at the O2 Institute in Digbeth – as presented by SJM Concerts.

Doors open at 6pm, with tickets priced at £12 (advance). For direct gig info & online ticket sales, click here.Main with web colour bcg - lr

Fat White Family’s gig at the O2 Institute in Birmingham is the first of an eleven date UK tour – in support of their second album, Songs for Our Mothers, which was released on 22 January through Fat Possum/Without Consent.

Formed in a South London squat back in 2012, Fat White Family have gained notoriety as one of the most raw and wild bands on the live scene. Onstage arguments and nudity, riding a donkey into a venue, pig’s heads in the crowd… it’s all the stuff of legend.

Fat White Family @ O2 Institute 20.02.16But while they haven’t quite managed to capture the energy of their live shows in either their latest album, or their 2013 debut Champagne Holocaust, there is more going on with Fat White Family than just wanton debauchery. Incorporating lo-fi, psych and post-punk styles, Songs for Our Mothers doesn’t shy away from the difficult subjects. In fact, it covers themes of fascism, serial killers and racism in a manner that revels in crossing the boundaries of good taste.

So are Fat White Family “members of an emergent underclass of literate but degenerate squatters” (Paul Lester – The Guardian) with something important to say about modern Britain? Or are they merely “raw-assed rabble rock as dark, deviant and disgusting as the ’70s” (Mark Beaumont – NME).

Either way, if Elton John is referencing them to show he’s still relevant (and he is) it’s probably not long before they cross over into the wider public’s consciousness. So catch Fat White Family before they go supernova. Or, just as likely, before they self-combust.

Released in December 2015, ‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’ was the first taster from Songs for Our Mothers. Check it out – click on the image/link below:

‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’ by Fat White Family

Fat White Family perform at the O2 Institute on Saturday 20 February, as presented by SJM Concerts. For direct gig info & online tickets, visit http://o2institutebirmingham.co.uk/listings/upcoming-events/29011/fat-white-family/

For more on Fat White Family, visit https://fatwhitefamily.bandcamp.com

___________


For more from the O2 Institute, visit http://o2institutebirmingham.co.uk/

For more events from SJM Concerts, visit http://www.gigsandtours.com/

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