Monday, 4 February 2013

It's The Return!!!

Always expect the unexpected at a Fingathing gig.

Saturday night saw the live return of Fingathing so Wena and I headed up to Manchester to take it in. The gig took place in 2022NQ, a club/gallery type of place up in the Northern Quarter just up from Forbidden Planet. It's the kind of venue that Manchester seems to have in such abundance, a dark, cramped, sweaty, and basement-esque (like The Roadhouse) joint that seems to be so well suited to hosting gigs. Personally I love a venue with sweat covered walls, cold stone floors, and crudely painted fixtures, that's tucked away down a back alley. At the risk of sounding all hipstery, there is a real no nonsense, all about the music vibe to it that just works for me. That said, at this venue I actually felt a bit out of place. We arrived shortly after the doors opened around ten and sat there listening to the DJ, trying to pass the two hours until Fingathing took to the stage. I'm not sure if it's because everyone there seemed to be in big groups and mingling or if it was because we just clearly are not big city folk (I mean we use terms like 'big city folk') but I did feel a tad uncomfortable there for a little while, I'm sure a more outgoing person would have been fine or if we were in a little group of folk, it would have been cool but in a room full of people that either looked something like Noel Gallagher deciding he's a b-boy or just straight up well dressed, well bearded, young folk, this guy just seemed out of place...

It was no place for a Norwegian tourist.
After a couple of slowly drunk, £4 a bottle, ciders and the filling up of the place it started to feel a bit more like it should and soon enough the DJ spun his last Tribe record and gave way for the return of Fingathing. It's been 6 or so years since they played a live show so the crowd was more than ready to go on the journey The 'Thing had in store for them. For those who aren't familiar with Fingathing or aren't fortunate enough to have caught them live I should explain a little about what sets them apart. Aside from the technical wizardy from Parker and the heavy bass lines from Sneaky, there is also the visual element provided by the band's artist Chris Drury. Drury had clearly been hard at work in preparation for this comeback gig because the visuals were down right incredible. All new artwork which was every bit as insane and dope as the music. Don't believe me? Check these shots Wena took...

Tremendous stuff

Some mental imagery up there which actually makes it hard to know where to look when Fingathing are on stage. Do you watch the incredible animation, mixed with close ups of Parker and Sneaky hammering their respective instruments? Do you focus on Sneaky shredding it on his upright bass? Or do you watch Parker bobbing up and down maniacally as he smashes his MPC or cuts records to shit? To be honest in the five or six times I have seen Fingathing I've found the best thing to do is just take a step back and just hope your eyes manage to catch as much of the experience as they possibly can.

Musically we were treated to mixture of old and new, we had the perfect for a live show Head to Head which is a great showcase of how this set up works, the live dueling between the turntable and the bass is, put simply, spectacular. Classic rawness like Ffathead gave way to some of my own personal Finga favourites such as Synergy and Cluster Buster (which I've given a fair bumming to in my Big Red Nebula Band review previously). The new tracks such as Hell Raiser and Bounce seemed to really get the crowd jumping too and Man Made Monster had everyone in attendance reaching for the ceiling. Exactly how it should be. There was a track they played, which due to me standing by the Sound Techs holding a set-list I could see was called Time, which was absolutely killer. There was something about that song that evoked Velvet Underground to me, just a huge track. There was a nice outing for Walk In Space too which is a truly  wonderful live experience and possibly my favourite moment of the night! The tangents that they go off on in that song is just mind blowing and was worth the price of admission alone. Here's an old video I ripped from YouTube that shows how good this track is live. Be warned that the audio is a little off and quality not amazing but it's an awful lot better than the phone videos I took at the gig!!!

There was plenty more to enjoy and in the hope that this gig was a precursor to a full blown tour I won't spoil anything further for you. If they do tour please make sure you pick up tickets for whichever gig is closest to you because Fingathing are unlike anything else you've ever seen and are still one of the best live acts I have ever witnessed.

Catch you down front at the next one.


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