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Lydia Lunch and Big Sexy Noise
Fat White Family
Broken DC

Lexington, London
Wednesday October 2 2013

Broken DC seem to have stopped their clock somewhere at the alt rock end of the 90s. Which isn't a bad thing, you understand, if you dig that fuzzy, grungy, dirty but clean guitar sound, and vocals that run from rock-star-in-existential-agony to spacey crooning.Broken DC

As it turns out, however, many of Broken DC's numbers are instrumentals, carefully constructed to showcase that wall of distort-o-guitar - and it must be said that Broken DC can wield a mean slab of distortion.

Then the vocals come barrelling in, and all of a sudden the band sound like Fear Factory on a foggy day.

I think you need to be somewhat of a stoner to really get into Broken DC's groove, and I've only had a couple of beers so far tonight. But after a bit of spliffing I'm sure they sound spiffing.

Here come Fat White Family, mob-handed and dishevelled, giving it their slightly goofy brand of sleaziness. Somewhat unexpectedly, Fat White Family are picking up some music biz interest at present - it seems the media has decided that they'll do as this season's tame noise-merchants. Well, good for the Fat Whites. If the showbiz bandwagon is coming round their way, they'd be foolish not to jump on and ride it as far as it'll take them.

Fat White FamilyBut I can't quite take Fat White Family seriously as a gang of low-life rockers - they're forever teetering on the brink of self-parody. But then, perhaps that's the point.

Tonight the singer is sporting a carefully shaved bald patch on top of his head - possibly a tribute to classic 60s garage punks The Monks, or possibly just for a laugh.

It's impossible to tell how serious Fat White Family are about this kind of stuff, and maybe that's the point, too.

The band swing into their low-slung crunk and stagger, all flailing limbs and freeform gurning, and their scuzzy, loping racket certainly suits their image as rock 'n' roll's knowingly frazzled court jesters. But do they mean it, man, or are they taking the piss? My guess is...a bit of both.

If you asked Lydia Lunch whether she was taking the piss, she would probably vapourise you on the spot with a basilisk stare. Tonight, making her Big Sexy Noise with Gallon Drunk's James Johnston on guitar and Ian White on Drums, she's a raging rock 'n' roll thaumaturge, a sorceress in full cry, as this deceptively minimalist band hits the stage and unceremoniously proceeds to haul a storm out of the ether.

Big Sexy Noise songs swing from the hip - literally, when James Johnston swivels his guitar as if lining up the audience for target practice. They're all strut and braggadocio, all bump and grind, and in Lydia Lunch herself the band has a frontwoman who doesn't so much have the crowd in the palm of her hand as grab it round the neck in a death grip.

The guitar shreds its way across the landscape like a runaway lawnmower; the drumbeats detonate like a collection of carefiully-lobbed molotov cocktails.

'Where You Gonna Run?' is a rhetorical question flayed to the bones of a rampaging riff; 'Kill Your Sons' is a heady piece of nihilism, as implacable as a brick wall.

Lydia Lunch gives it her killer blues diva holler throughout, and by the time the set shudders to a close it seems a minor miracle that fire hasn't broken out. That's the way you do it, kids. Just as well the Fat Whites went on before Lydia, because they certainly couldn't have followed that.

Lydia Lunch

Lydia Lunch: Website | Facebook

Big Sexy Noise: Website | Facebook

Fat White Family: Facebook

Broken DC: Website | Facebook

For more photos from this gig, find Lydia Lunch and Fat White Family by name here.

Page credits: Words, photos and construction by Michael Johnson. Nemesis logo by Antony Johnston. Red N version by Mark Rimmell.

Words and photos in Nemesis To Go by Michael Johnson are licenced under Creative Commons. You may copy and distribute this material, or derivations of it, provided that you give a credit to Michael Johnson and a link to Nemesis To Go. Where material from other sources is used, copyright remains with the original owners. All rights in the name 'Nemesis To Go' and the 'N' logo are retained.