On Monday night, South London’s Fat White Family took to Rickshaw Stop as they neared the end of their US tour. It was a night of orgasmic rock and enticing performances that left the crowd completely infatuated. If you weren’t a fan when you arrived, you definitely were when you left.
The last time we saw these guys perform was at Great Escape Festival earlier this year. They were drenched in coffee, the bassist was half naked, and the lead singer was wearing seriously small underwear while thrusting himself against the microphone. To say the least, we knew this show was going to be one to watch.
Fat Whites was born in 2011. After taking the British Rock world by storm with their debut album Champagne Holocaust (2014), they came to the US to do the same. Their grotesque and drug-riddled look has caught the attention of many, but don’t be fooled into thinking that’s as far as they go. These Brits are switched-on, entertaining, and they have ticked all the boxes.
After bundling in fresh off the bus, it didn’t take long before the first five members of the band took to the stage and the haunting sounds of “Auto Neutron” began. The crowd slowly began to walk towards the stage, moving in unison. The long build up before the vocals meant that the lead singer, Lias Saoudi, remained absent from the stage for what felt like forever, heightening the crowd’s anticipation. Eventually Saoudi came on, beer in hand, and proved as usual, that he knows exactly how to win over a crowd.
Throughout the performance, his intensity was undeniably infectious. At points his body convulsed in a sexual manner demonstrating to the audience a sense that he was lost in the music. He was soon topless, leaving the crowd wanting more as they shouted for him to take his pants off (the girls in the front might have collapsed if that were to happen).
By the time the hypnotic guitar riff of “Touch the Leather” began, the performance seemed to climax, and the crowd was hooked. The call and response between Saoudi and every follower in the room created a cultish and uniting atmosphere in which Saoudi was a worshipped leader.
Saoudi’s sense of control of the audience was reinforced when he told them to “shut up” before the band brought the tempo down with “Garden of the Numb.” Although Fat White Family will bring the audience in, they’ll always be quick to push them back and establish a sense of distance.
The band finished and left the stage without a word, leaving a sense of love and loss lingering in the air. As Fat White Family continue to tour the US, we’re pretty sure they’ll have a similar effect wherever they go. One thing is for certain: on Monday night, San Francisco sold their souls to the “pathetic Fat Whites.”
Article by Alana Jeffery