Thursday 12 December 2019

On Stage: Fat White Family @ Melkweg

Heavy drug problems almost put an end to Fat White Family's career. The band from South London were able to overcome the problems and reinvented themselves on this year's LP Serf's Up!, one of the best albums this year in my opinion. Their live shows have quite a reputation, so I'd better go check them out.

Fat White Family at Melkweg Amsterdam, December 8 2019

As an extra treat Pip Blom is opening tonight so I make sure I'm at the venue early enough. It's a always nice to see this young band play their contagious alternative rock songs. Blom has a great talent for writing gritty rock songs with that typical nineties sound and it's so much fun to see this happy bunch play.

Somehow you could expect Fat White Family to be a fierce punk rock band that is going to tear the place down. But their music is nothing like that. Instead it has a side of funk and psychedelica to it, run through their filter, turning it into sultry, somewhat dark songs. These guys look like they are "bad" boyfriend material that you don't want to be related to. But they definitely can play and come up with very good songs.

Singer Lias Saoudi is up to no good tonight and guitarist Saul Adamczewski warns Saoudi is in a bad mood and tells everyone to watch out. I'm not sure this is actually true, but Saoudi isn't giving the crowd an easy time, harassing them a little bit. He jumps into the crowd several times, throwing beers in the air, pushing people around at the front. It actually makes sure the pit keeps going and people are paying attention.

These guys are playing a very tight set, with a lot of songs from their excellent new record. There are hints of eighties nostalgia in their songs, not the least because of the synths and saxophone played by Alex White. White looks like to have stepped from an eighties video clip, sporting a look similar to Willy Deville's during his 'White Trashgirl' period. It only adds to the band's unique character.

In the end it is all about the music, which is simply great. I get a bit of eighties The Bad Seeds vibes, which is a huge compliment. With a somewhat casual stage presence, a nasty frontman and a bunch of great songs the band looks like they are onto something. Maybe they actually aren't in the best mood, since the band leaves the stage after an hour and only thirteen songs, where setlists of other shows reveal at least sixteen or seventeen songs. It was a great family meeting nevertheless.

All Pictures

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01. Auto Neutron
02. I Am Mark E. Smith
03. Tinfoil Deathstar
04. Fringe Runner
05. Heaven on Earth
06. Touch the Leather
07. Cream of the Young
08. Goodbye Goebbels
09. When I Leave
10. I Believe in Something Better
11. Feet
12. Whitest Boy on the Beach
13. Is It Raining in Your Mouth?

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