Fucked Up/Bronx: Club Academy
Fucked Up were precisely the shot-in-the-arm that I’d expected and hoped for. Claiming to be in a particularly good mood, singer Father Damian aka Pink Eyes aka Damian Abraham was equal parts venom spitter and entertainer: somewhere through the second song he’d wrapped the microphone lead around a beam on the low ceiling constructing a handy gallows for himself. By the end of the set he’d made his way round most of the audience allowing the throng of kids and curious older onlookers a slap of his sweaty and hirsute frame. I declined.
Opener ‘Son the Father’ literally kicked off the proceedings. Concerned that the ‘pit’ was that bit too close, but unable not to jig around, the near full pint of the black stuff I had held close to my chest was subsequently spilt down my front and arm. Other standout moments included ‘Twice Born’ and ‘Crooked Head’. The only thing lacking was the flutes. Yes, no flutes. How very disappointing.
Co-headliners Bronx were doing so well: requisite energy, passion, screaming and crowd surfing. ‘Your shitty future’ was brilliant and my fears that they could in no way match the above outfit were being allayed. And then it all went so horribly wrong. Somewhere mid-set lead singer Matt Caughthran demanded the audience to, and I quote, “Fuck the system”. Ok, thought I, let’s get this gig over and I’m definitely up for proceeding en masse into the streets to smash neo-liberal capitalism and install a grassroots network of autonomous anarcho-collectives. No more shitty future. It’s all going to be fine. Everything is going to be fine.
Surprisingly this did not happen. Instead we got the turgid sub-pub rock of ‘White Guilt’, followed by an organised (yes, organised) stage invasion which lasted the allotted one song with revolutionary invaders dutifully leaving the stage at the end of it.
Bronx barked and yelped their way through the rest of the set as I stood, literally, shaking my head in disbelief. They almost won me over, but they’d soiled their chances with too many hideous clichés and formulaic posturings. At least all this nonsense revealed just how good Fucked Up were and are precisely because they don’t trade in such predictabilities. Yet some live flute action is needed if we’re going to reach our collective utopias.
Fucked Up – Son the Father
Fucked Up – Twice Born
Bronx – Shitty Future
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