Fucked Up, King Tut’s, Glasgow

Tonight, the winner isn't really music as such - it is showmanship and off-kilter insanity.

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Date: 16 Nov 2008 | By Chris Cope | Rating: 4
Fucked Up, King Tut’s, Glasgow

You have to ponder where Toronto hardcore-punks Fucked Up would be without their lead singer, Damian 'Pink Eyes' Abraham. Take away the balding, brutish and, to put it nicely, a bit chubby, frontman then you're left with five musicians happily going about their business and looking a tad bored.

And tonight at Glasgow's famous King Tut's, for about 95% of the time that is who we have on stage: five musicians plodding away. The sixth member however is here, there and everywhere and probably hitting himself with a pulverised microphone. He spends so little time on stage that you wonder if he's frantically looking for a dropped contact lens on the floor somewhere, but hey, that's all part of the fun. In the first twenty seconds of the set he actually does stand on the stage, and manages to bare his rather gargantuan backside, but after that it's as if he's a rabid terrier that's been let off the leash. Amongst Pink Eyes' antics are: fireman lifting a member of the crowd around the room, whipping the microphone above his head on the longest-mic-lead-in-the-world in the mosh-pit just millimetres away from people's heads, running around on the bar and whacking his head with a full Coke can in the style of WWF legend Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The band are tight though; 'Son The Father' is particularly impressive, even if the infectious backing vocals are lost a little in the overloaded mix, and 'Crusades' is particularly potent live. Bass player Mustard Gas, however, looks incredibly out of place, with her art school style and black skirt, but that's probably part of the charm. However, it does get a bit repetitive after a while. Live, their high energy songs lack the clarity that they enjoy on record and the experimental aspect of their sound tends to get lost, and despite being a truly enthralling frontman, Pink Eyes does eventually get a little grating. And if you ever wanted to nip downstairs to the loo, you'd probably end up getting hurled back into the mosh-pit at the grubby hands of a disappointed Mr Eyes.

As the set goes on, more songs pass, but there are few truly stand out tracks; 'Black Albino Bones' does however pack a punch. The wall of noise in this cosy venue is a bit overbearing and with the guttural vocals, this isn't really for the more sensitive listener, but after adding sweat, beer and a tangible element of danger, this is one good rocking and rolling show.

Tonight, the winner isn't really music as such - it is showmanship and off-kilter insanity. "This is for all the people who have to go to work tomorrow", Pink Eyes jokes before launching into another tirade. Pity must go out to those hardy working souls, for returning to the drudgery of real life after this outlandish and visceral show must be one epic come down.