Live Review: FIDLAR @ Manchester Ritz, November 11th


These British shores have been longing for a return from US surf punks FIDLAR for far too long. The crowd, who before FIDLAR even took to the stage were already animalistic, went apocalyptic as the band appeared, disguised, to quickly soundcheck before going on. In the case of opening acts Vants and Bully, they certainly did what they were supposed to in terms of warming the crowd up. Having taken a year out to record new material, they have returned this year with sophomore effort ‘TOO’, which has even more spit and fire then their 2013 debut.

In case FIDLAR were, for any reason, unsure if they were welcome here, the crowd soon began thunderous chanting of “FIDLAR!”. The moment the show finally began, the sea of restless feet turned into a an atomic collision and opening with ’Stoked & Broke’, FIDLAR were instantly shown to be on top form.

Barraging us with track after track, the crowd somehow finding even more energy during ‘Cheap Beer’, it was an unrelenting experiencing. Everything about a FIDLAR show is an escape for everyone involved, it’s a release, almost drug-like. The first third of the show stuck to the first album, the second third we were given the majority of ‘TOO’ cuts, with leading singles ’40oz On Repeat’ and ‘West Coast’ proving to be even stronger than they are on the record. Ending the second third with ‘5 to 9’, the short and snotty ode to late nights/early mornings of not giving a fuck with your friends, you can’t see how things can get any better.

One key way to see if the crowd are receptive to a gig is the humidity in the room. The entire venue from the backstage staircase to the upper balcony was covered in condensation and sweat. A disgustingly perfect symbol of the cathartic riot taking place within the crowd.

The final third of the set somehow reached peak madness. ‘Punks’ was essentially a strong dose of caffeine to the maniacal crowd, not for a single moment did they wain or lose steam at all. Finale ‘Cocaine’, which was the pièce de résistance, featuring the crowd being told to sit down, which they did in unison perfectly. Once the song finally kicked in absolute mayhem ensued, not a single body was left stood still. It was clear the crowd had been waiting a long time for this return and they held nothing back, and neither did FIDLAR, throwing themselves around the stage in true fashion.

A group like FIDLAR are amongst a rare breed of bands. Those who still have the “give no fucks” ethos but manage to drink and smoke their way into the hearts of everyone and more importantly give a voice to those of us who really don’t want to worry about life and just want to have some fun. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for another dose.

Steven Loftin

Steven Loftin

A music nerd who collects, produces, listens and writes.
Steven Loftin