Saturday 4 July 2020
Rancid rockers realise their ambitions

Fat White Family has gotten their act together.

Don’t get us wrong.

Earlier, they were a rowdy bunch of havoc-mongers who flew the flag for ostentatious discomfort. They were a band that was (perhaps rightfully) surrounded by a million myths (insert stories about drug use, infighting, political references, homelessness... the list goes on), like the ones that surrounded The Libertines in their heyday.

But now, three albums in, there’s a sense of unity in the band. A mission is found about being a great band with a great sound. The surrounding chaos has been stripped away (well, almost).

Fat White Family has garnered critical and public adulation for their scuzzy mix of rock’n’roll, post-punk, country and nihilistic psychedelia, recalling the likes of The Fall (of course they have a song called “I Am Mark E Smith”), The Birthday Party and Butthole Surfers.

Their first two albums – Champagne Holocaust (2013) and Songs for Our Mothers (2016) – were both polarising and full of rickety misanthropic lo-fi shenanigans.

After a number of side projects and a change of members in the band, a reconfigured Fat Whites released their third album, Serfs Up!, in 2019. 

Fat White Family have set their sights on something more ambitious and pop-oriented. It’s far from pop, though, but you will find the band messing around with drum machines (listen to the immense-sounding disco banger “Feet”).

The British band is still considered one of the most potent live rock acts around now (we saw that at Roskilde Festival 2015). The Quietus goes as far as stating that “they're starting to fill the hole left by the Bad Seeds as they move further into genteel old age.“

If you want a rock show where you’re never quite sure what will happen, but you know that the band’s songbook is full of great tunes and that they will haul themselves head-on into the concert format, you don’t want to miss out on Fat White Family.