Last night we caught up with the English rock band FUZZWALKER playing live at an iconic venue — the 100 Club in London’s West End.
Their sounds span a lost and innocent age of Brit Pop that includes Hard-Fi, Stone Roses and slices of Oasis and Blur but also goes back to Humble Pie, The Herd and The Kinks.
We recently reviewed their satisfying “Continental Breakfast” which reminded us of “the heady British pop tradition of the late 1970’s…”
So, to the show…
First off… Why did the band start their concert with the melancholic disorder of Tail Gunner?
What a bad choice for a starter!
It didn’t help that the Fuzzies had to follow hard rockers PISTON. However, they ought to have had a hardish blues rock number hidden up their sleeves — to hold the crowd. Unfortunately, the band persevered with their EP opening track and watched as half the crowd nipped out the back doors…
Luckily “Little Lights” had a squelchy riff and a hearty backbone. Some, though not all, of Piston’s audience returned from the “smoking area” (i.e. Oxford Street ) and clapped along to some fervent vocals trimmed with thin rinds of electric guitar and laid across abundant patterns yielded by Carlos De Los Santos (guitar.) The song morphed itself into a sweet chant.
“All In” had a fiery Latin American heart. With sour cream guitar-work. And a crisp and cheerful rhythm.
But, to be fair, we couldn’t make out the more intricate details because of the overpowering din from Matt’s guitar…
And here’s another hint guys: It doesn’t matter how skillful you might be with your improvised electromagnetic twiddlery onstage — there is no noticeable difference if the audience can’t hear anything more than the regular clash-smash-bash of a strident rhythm guitar. We know it’s probably a fault of someone in the sound booth — but a musician on stage ought to have noticed.
Fuzzwalker relies on songwriter and vocalist frontman Matt Brook to provide drama and passion to the numbers.
His vocals are sweetly given — though sturdy — with a “Steve Marriott” type flavour. And it’s true that there were moments of great achievement in this show.
“Door to Hell” for example, was exquisitely crafted — a swooshingly lush number with an effervescent riff and ardent bass-line from Billy. All credit to Donna too — for her solid automotive percussion.
Not without its flaws, this wasn’t the best showcase for this young indie outift. And the fact it was on a Monday — it meant audience numbers were down … and Fuzzwalker were literally squeezed between rock and a hard place…
However, once the audience finally returned to the concert room [to prep for headliners THE BREW] they gave generous applause…
And gawd bless ’em … the artists never lost their soul, purpose or positive energy.
In fact, it was great to see a bunch of musicians enjoy themselves so heartily on stage.