Fidlar - The Haunt, Brighton - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Fidlar - The Haunt, Brighton

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:

On a dark and miserable night, the prospect of seeing a band I'd only ever heard through my poorly laptop made the rather damp journey to The Haunt somewhat more bearable. Being greeted in the foyer by something vaguely resembling a Fidlar song, I was concerned I'd lost an hour somewhere on my walk down. Entering the gig, however, I was set at ease by the surprisingly full and melodic sounds of Chichester-based three-piece, Traams. The as-yet small crowd seemed comfortable with the grungy, sometimes shoegazy offerings coming from the stage, and the singer/guitarist seemed equally happy in his own world. Without being in any way slow, it seemed a relaxed start to what was to become a rather more hectic gig.

WIth a guitarist who could have been the not-so-love child of Nikki Sixx and Robert Smith, and an enigmatic lead-singer (who turned out to be James Jagger, son of Sir Mick), on stage, Turbogeist were at least worth paying attention to. Combining a natural stage presence, and an over-emphasis on accent reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys, Turbogeist were fully engaging with the audience, frontman Jimbo Mutant Shinobi (as he goes by) continuously coaxing the ever-growing crowd closer and closer. Their single (which they admitted to not having copies to sell!) may actually have been one of the weakest songs, but overall, their vigour on stage and their double-take lyrics were enough to ensure everyone had a good time.

Without realising, by the time Fidlar came on, there was little room to move. Given that the band were showcasing their first full album, I was a little surprised at how popular Fidlar already were. But, knowing the album, I'm aware of how hard those songs are to shake off. So it wasn't a surprise when, starting things off with the anthemic 'Cheap Beer', the whole venue erupted with chants of, "I like cheap beer. So what? Fuck you!"

And that level of audience commitment continued throughout the set. They played all the songs you'd want from the album, plus some, which resulted on more than one occasion in stage-mobbings. Not everyone took their dive - a lot of people just wanted to hang out with the band on stage.

As far as (punk) gigs go, this had it all. Songs about the drummer, Max, prompted fanatical screams from horny teenagers; drug-related banter punctuated the drug-related songs; technical difficulties led to Turbogeist lending a guitar for half the set; Max's drumsticks got nicked during one of the mobbings; singer Zac Carper joined in with the crowdsurfing; the videographer took a surf; and some crazed kid decided the stage wasn't high enough, and jumped from a speaker stack.

The final crowd onslaught was seen by security as too much, and some slower members of the mass were 'encouraged' off, leaving behind a rather tired-looking band. I'm not sure Fidlar was quite ready for Brighton, but Brighton was certainly ready for them.

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