Friday, March 1, 2024

Fat White Family + Claw Marks + Table Scraps + Earth Rod, The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham 22/02/14

Fat White Family
Fat White Family’s live performances have steadily gathered the band a stellar reputation as one of the most interesting and exciting new live bands in Britain, and by the end of the night, I walked away believing the same.

Earth Rod
3-piece Earth Rod, from Leicester, were first up on a particularly strong supporting cast for the evening, and they impressed with their high tempo set of surfed up garage-rock; the drums thudding pace matched by scuzzed guitar over the top, and vocals belted out. Shambolic at times yes, but all together good fun. Fans of Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall would certainly dig this lot.

Table Scraps
Band members on stage decreased to just 2 with the arrival of Table Scraps, yet if anything the volume increased, with the combination of Poppy Twist’s stripped back drum kit being thoroughly abused whilst Scott Abbott’s pedal laden guitar set up blasted through multiple amps really making an ungodly noise, all whilst the pair look effortlessly cool.

Table Scraps
The music is wild, a nod to The Cramps’ 50’s rock n roll, with tracks from their debut cassette EP as well as Motorcycle (Straight To Hell) which you can watch a gloriously lo-fi video for via YouTube, making up part of the duo’s set.

Claw Marks
Claw Marks, on the road with Fat White Family as their main tour support arrived on stage, lead singer sporting face paint under in his eyes, and quickly proving to be one of the most visually alluring lead singers I’ve seen. His on stage performance saw him move like Nick Cave, all snake-hipped and provocative, whilst the band’s music, mixing elements of hardcore punk, noise rock, as well gothic elements of the acts such as The Birthday Party and Tom Waits, played through at high velocity with little or no let up.

Fat White Family
With the room capacity looking pretty full, Fat White Family (looking like the type of guys you’d try to avoid) with an air of sordidness, unpleasantness to their appearance, made their way through the crowd to get ready to put on one of those performances that you and the rest of the crowd will talk about for months to come. Opening up with ‘Auto Neutron’ a slow moving track which grooves along leading to a great sing-a-long chorus and halts to a ferocious climax.

Fat White Family
The set carried on, featuring songs from their debut album Champagne Holocaust such as ‘Is It Raining In Your Mouth’, ‘Cream Of The Young’ and ‘Bomb Disneyland’ as well as newer tracks such as ‘I Am Mark E Smith’ (a nod to one of the band’s musical inspirations, The Fall) ‘Wet Hot Beef parts 1, 2 and 3’ and upcoming single ‘Touch The Leather’ which closed the show and saw the crowd going wild down the front.

Fat White Family
Despite their reputation of being a wild, ramshackle bunch of urchin like rotters, they are genuinely a fearsome live band, musically tight and together. And in their frontman Lias Saoudi they have someone you will struggle to keep your eyes off – his vacant gaze through the crowd coupled with a reckless abandon for his own safety making him standout. Musically I’m not sure where I’d start to describe them, but a friend of mine coined them as avant-garage and I think that’s the closest and best description I’ve heard so far so we’ll go with that.
Photographs by Rob Hadley.