through the bacchanalia

On 9th August I finally got to see Fucked Up, the Canadian hardcore band that I had been wanting to go see since last Fall.

We got down to Hoxton Square early, and there was their singer Damian Abraham getting out of the back of their van. Woo hoo! Well, too good to miss, I went up to Damian and he was more than obliging in letting my husband take a picture of me and him together, just a really nice, friendly guy.

We went off and got something to eat, then went to hang out at the bar inside the venue. We saw the end of the preceding band Trash Talk who were pretty dramatic and powerful, the small place so packed that we could only just get in. Once Trash Talk had finished though people started leaving en mass for the bar and I wandered up close to the stage. Fucked Up came on a little while later, and it was an amazing show, I thought I was dreaming at first seeing this for real. I’ve posted on Fucked Up before, and you can find lots of YouTube vids of them if you want to see what they are like. Most of the pics I took are very blurry, my camera don’t take good pics of moving subjects in a darkened room without flash, and I didn’t want to use lots of flash, but I love the pics all the same as they capture movement and feel.

And one good one I got of Damian :0)

The thing with this band is the feel is so good, so alive and warm, so affectionate, so physical, and believe me, Damian takes it to the audience. It was only a few songs in that he jumped off into the crowd and made his way to one side of the venue, then to the back, embracing and hugging during songs, caressing a face here and there, and moreover drawing the entire crowd into the feeling of one great embrace in a sea of raw, sweaty, good humoured energy. As he got back up on stage the first time he joked that festival crowds are different, they are so young and the band just suck up their energy like vampires, but we were a whole lot older lol. He did I don’t know how many more forays into the audience, it just all merges into a kind of oceanic experience in my memory, but I remember feeling so happy, happy at other people’s happiness too, happy every time someone was hugged or delighted at the slap stick merging of music, physicality and open friendship. I ended up on the steps to the stage leaning on one of the monitors in the swell of the crowd, happy as a kitten with a bowl of cream. When our beautiful punk Bacchus came by reaching out his arm I just dived into a group hug.

Finally there was an encore in the crowd of the old Sex Pistols song “Bodies”, which Damian introduced as “the best English punk song ever“. Then good bye, and many thank you’s to the crowd, and hugs, and a great big hug I got and gave as he said “thank you sir”. Well thank you sir, it was an honour, and thank you Fucked Up.

One last picture I’d like to share. This is looking back into the crowd, and you can just make out Damian back there (follow the mike lead). This photo just captured something for me. And the swirling red mist? That wasn’t there. The golden light just above and to the right of Damian? That wasn’t there either. But I’d like to think it was one of those synchronous things that playfully shows what it was really like. A little gift from the gods. It certainly fits.

And I’d especially like to thank my husband for taking me to this gig as part of my birthday present. I love you more than anything in the whole world honey.



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