Fat White Family Live at the O2 Academy Brixton (2016)

Lias perched, surveying his handiwork with glee and two raised fingers

I leave the O2 Academy Brixton, on Saturday, 17 September, drenched and dripping with sweat. I have sweated through every item of clothing in my possession, including that which I am not necessarily wearing. I stink of cigarettes, weed, beer, and the body odour of myself and every other sweaty body in the venue.

I leave having managed to go the entire gig without having any beer spilled on me, only to have half a pint poured down my back in the mad rush to get through the narrow doors of the venue exit.

I leave the O2 Academy Brixton slowly, each step a chore made all the more difficult by every muscle in my body aching from the combined energy and strength of hundreds of people smashing into me over and over. My legs and feet don’t want to cooperate, adjusted as they are now to the methodical up and down movement they’ve been subjected to for the past four hours. My chest and stomach feel bruised and sore from the barrier I was repeatedly pushed into and pulled away from.

I leave having watched Lias, front-man and lead singer for the Fat White Family, exert a masterful control over the audience. Before the band took to the stage, while the second of two opening bands, Black Lips, had played, the chaos had mostly been contained to a small area in front of the stage. When Fat White Family stepped on stage, though, the entire venue erupted with energy. Lias stood on stage with his hands out at his sides, head thrown back, bare chest thrust towards us, and with a simple lift of his hands was able to cause the place to reach an even greater crescendo as the band kicked in and the people crowd threw themselves at each other. At one point, waiting for a lengthy intro to play through, Lias clambered upon the speaker stack at the edge of the stage and perched there, surveying his handiwork with glee and two raised fingers.

I leave tired but elated and with deeply apologetic feelings towards anyone who now has to sit next to me on the train home.

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