FIDLAR are back in London. When Clash last reported on the LA punk foursome, we encountered a lot of drinking, smashed glass and crowd surfing. So this gig has high expectations, to say the least.
The turn out here in Camden is astonishing for a non-local, un-radio-friendly band that doesn’t even have an album out yet. Also present is their biggest fan, Kate Nash, at the bar complaining about how British people pronounce their name wrong. “It’s F-I-D-L-A-R, not Fiddler on the Roof.” Who ever thought Nash would be the one to be teaching punk etiquette?
When FIDLAR (not Fiddler) stumble on stage, they commence with ‘Cheap Beer’, giving the already agitated and youthful crowd an excuse to lose their shit. Fanboys storm the stage to grab hold of them and share a mic. The whole scene is like a drug-addled One Direction concert without the young girls; it’s really quite touching/weird.
The security aren’t happy. A number of lads - one of whom loses his top within five minutes of the gig starting - won’t stop invading the stage and using it to launch their way into the crowd, causing all to topple like booze soaked dominoes. Frontman Zac Carp informs security: “It’s okay, we like it! Don’t worry; everything is going to be alright.” Well that’s a lie, as one song after a guy in a Black Flag tee is dragged out with a torrential nose bleed, looking like some sort of horrendous Andrew W.K. ‘I Get Wet’ cover reenactment.
Playing a newly reinvented ‘No Waves’ (the riff has been altered to not sound so repetitive) doesn’t help things get any better, and finishing with ‘Wake Bake Skate’ just about makes everyone who works at the venue want to cry. This is going to be one massive cleanup.
The encore is the best part of the night, however. They come back on after most of the audience has left, but still smash through fan favourite ‘West Coast’ (which has the best pop punk hook since ‘Dammit’). Coincidently, they then go into Blink’s ‘Dammit’ for the last song, which sees lead singer Zac fire his way into the crowd. At this point the bouncers really don’t care anymore, so they let everyone do their thing. One of the more relaxed members of security is then brought back on stage, and FIDLAR get everyone to hum Blink-182 while he crowd surfs to a mass of cheers. He then receives a hoard of high fives as people exit the building to get a much needed shower.
The atmosphere tonight was absolutely insane, and was by far one of the best gigs of 2012.
Punk was never dead, it just overdosed. Now it’s been resuscitated.
Words by Jamie Carson
Photos by Marco Micceri