Live Review: Fangclub

Fangclub

The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool, 2 October 2019

Words and Photos by Gary Lambert

All of a sudden it seemed, according to Facebook posts, that winter had hit. People were turning the heating on, dusting off the hot water bottles, and playing competitive coldness. But why put the fire on when you could go to a sweaty gig in just a t-shirt? That’s the Popped Music approach to heating – and it’s better for the environment too. So it was to The Zanzibar Club for Fangclub with support from Liverpool bands Wolf Manor and LOLA.

First band up was Wolf Manor. A band fairly new in their inception you could tell that they were still finding their feet as there was a polarisation to their sound with a mix of heavy rock and much softer, (basically) indie music. The heavy rock sound was far more ambitious and confident than the softer, slower numbers, so I guess that in time the heavy sound will take over the entire set. Even if the tracks don’t change, I think there is more than confidence coming across from the heavier pieces that the style of those will colonise the slower songs.

Following up came LOLA. They were a much more traditional indie band, but for a young band I was taken with how they crafted their sound. Underpinning everything they did with some great electronic backing really filled the room with each song. It is often the space that isn’t taken which stands out when watching youthful bands, so it was brilliant that they constructed their work to push the music to the audience rather than just hope the music reached them. LOLA have a style of play which people will like, and, like Wolf Manor before them, they came across as nice people on stage. These days so much is based around personal contact that it is important to have audience members who don’t know you come away with a good impression of you.

Do you want a band that will hit you in the gut as hard as they hit you in the ears? If so, Fangclub could be the band you are looking for. Why? Because Fangclub have that dangerous ability to shake the foundations of the venue whilst simultaneously making you want to sing along to every chorus. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a band, but they reminded me of Nirvana and Metallica with how they managed to twist the knife into my heart. It is the sort of music that outsiders all over the world will take to their hearts forever, and hate those who come along after the big hit track. If they have the big hit track that is. There is enough in their arsenal to suggest that there could be a very big future in the offing for the four-piece.

The mid-set was the highlight for me with Dreamcatcher from their gold-certified debut album was obscenely heavy and hard, but the follow up of Better to Forget was almost decadent in how deep the bass hit home. Even from the back of the room I was reminded of being at festivals when I was younger and grinning from standing too close to the speaker stacks as the beats massaged me. I was happily falling in love with a record I’d not yet listened to.

With their second album released earlier this summer, I think I have just about managed to get Fangclub before the big rooms. And by the time I’d finished this review I’d listened to Fangclub and Vulture Culture and happily loved them both.

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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