Live Review

Fists, The Union Boat Club, Nottingham

Sweet, messy, noisy and enjoyable.

A raft of punk and psych fill up an all day bill featuring bands from the two local DIY labels Hello Thor and Gringo Records who have teamed up to release Fists’ debut album ‘Phantasm’.

Also appearing are bands including Leeds post punkers Cow Town; Rory Attwell (who also produced the Fists LP) in the guise of Warm Brains; and young local three-piece Kagoule.

Hello Thor’s Cantaloupe play dislodged prog, 8-bit themes, and cheerful synth jams which the friendly crowd manage to dance to in their own fashion.

Gringo’s Kogumaza share labelmates Hookworms penchant for shoegaze moments with the drone coming in dramatic waves, but without the necessary subtly there is an element of endurance test to the heavy sound.

Fists are a rag-tag bunch whose style, both musical and visual, straddles grunge and rockabilly. The five-piece crowd the stage of the Boat Club, somewhat softened by the all day bar and barbecue.
Fragile and a little bit schitzo, they please themselves. Vocals are shared between Angi Fletcher – who takes the opener ‘Solvent’, James Findlay who mixes it up with a Rockabilly wail and guitarist Pete Conway who sneaks in a lyrical Bugsy Malone reference (“We could have been anything that we wanted to be”).

It’s a mash of Jonathan Richman’s quirks, Johnny Cash’s rhythm breakdown and Theresa Wrigley’s pounding drums and Dave Biggs’ skiffle bass bring an edge of the force of The Cramps.

It’s been a long day and the fuzzy ‘Flaneur’ comes on like a particularly tipsy version of The Fall attempting to cover The White Stripes. ‘Cockatoo’ (an earlier single appearing on the album as a redux) is short and sharp; ‘Ascending’ is sweet, messy, noisy and enjoyable. Early single ‘6-5 Special’ is a sweaty staccato followed by a finale of Pixies proportions, entitled ‘Try”.

Fists’ goals are high and it doesn’t matter if they don’t always reach them, they’re enjoying the effort.

Tags: Fists, Features

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