Wednesday, 19 June, 2024 in Live Reviews, Music

Into Live Music: Fat White Family

Concert: Fat White Family
Venue: The Garage, Glasgow
Date: 16 June 2024
Like a bad dose of the clap courtesy of the seductive qualities of your ex, sucked in and blown out, leaving a maddening itch that you dare not scratch, a reddening of the cheeks and a quizzical, “what the fuck just happened there?” expression, that’s exactly what this live performance of Fat White Family delivered and it was just what the doctor ordered. 
This town, of course, has a special place in the hearts of FWF and they took to the stage to the strains of Where Is My Knife? by The Amazing Snakeheads, the Glasgow band fronted by the late Dale Barclay, himself a member of the Family for a brief period. 
The Garage, Glasgow. Image: John Welsh
Front and centre was singer Lias Saoudi. Lithe, lathered and lotioned like a boxer in his prime, ready to dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee. The band kicked off with Wet Hot Beef (of course they did), a sex-beat howl that laid down the marker for what was to follow. Seldom did the pace slow but when it did, it was underpinned by an (un)comfortable beauty, both band and audience willing partners in a night of mayhem that reeked of curiosity, coolness, creativity and chaos. 
La Cigal, Paris. Image: Trevor Pake
The band were on top form, Polygamy Is Only For The Chief written by Adam Harmer was bass heavy and the saxophone streaks haunted and unsettled in equal measure. Support act John Francis Flynn joined on stage to add flute to Bullet Of Dignity as Lias leapt into the crowd (as he did several times during the set) to crowd surf and mix with the seething audience. Hits Hits Hits followed, a song that is about as commercial (it’s not) and conventional as FWF gets whereas Today You Become Man started with funky bass/guitar licks before being overcome by a screeching sax and a gasping guitar crescendo that sounded like the authentic despairing screams of a five-year-old self that Lias described in the song’s harrowing lyrics. 
Difficult to pinpoint what was the highlight of the night but perhaps the double-dunt that was Satisfied followed by What’s That You Say were my picks, the band effortlessly magnificent. Now, I’ve seen a few front-men in my time who demand your attention, they have “it”, whatever “it” may be. Lux Interior and Iggy Pop have “it”. Add Lias Saoudi to the list. A mad conductor, a true showman and a livewire performer who left nothing at the door. 
Boiler Shop, Newcastle. Image: Trevor Pake
Bomb Disneyland finished us all off before the house lights came on. At which point we all shuffled off into the Glasgow night, spent, furtive glances and the hint of a nervous grin suggestive of the guilty pleasures we’d just experienced.
For more on Fat White Family, head to their website here

John Welsh


Feature image ©Trevor Pake @trevorpake




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