Music review: Fat White Family, SWG3, Glasgow

Fat White Family
Fat White Family
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ROUTINELY hailed as one of the most exciting live bands in the country, the London-born and now Sheffield-based Fat White Family are a motley crew following their own musical proclivities.

Fat White Family, SWG3, Glasgow ****

There are enough art rock and post-punk references strewn along the way to attract an audience which includes some seen-it-all old age punks but Fat White Family are nothing if not unpredictable and new album Serf’s Up! is another left turn into mellower, mercurial territory, used to punctuate this set of marshalled lunacy.

Stealthy psychedelic prowl When I Leave was a controlled curtain raiser for the shamanic garage rock of Tinfoil Deathstar and the gutter-trawling glam strut of I Am Mark E Smith with sleazy sax interjections from Alex White who, by accident or design, appeared to be channelling both the look and sound of Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay circa 1973.

Almost all eyes though were drawn to anti-fashion frontman Lias Saoudi who cared for neither cool nor convention – though he has been persuaded to observe public decency decorum these days and only stripped as far as his safari shorts and socks.

His charismatic presence held the attention through a couple of the more ponderous jams from the new album – every demented garage band deserves a breather at some point – until the stomping singalong anthem Is It Raining In Your Mouth? ushered in another galvanising salvo of raw energy which climaxed with the taut, propulsive boogie of their thank-you-and-goodnight kiss-off Bomb Disneyland.

FIONA SHEPHERD