[sic] Magazine

Fucked Up @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester 14/11/2012

The aptly named Deaf Institute needn’t have bothered with a stage tonight for volatile Fucked Up frontman Pink Eyes / Damian Abraham spends more time in the crowd, on the bar or even up on the balcony courtesy of a massively extended mic lead than he does in the vicinity of his fellow band-mates. Indeed such willingness to scale scenery is rarely seen outside of an Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster gig, Abraham at one point risking injury (to himself and others considering his stature) when failing to master the balcony overhang at the first attempt and falling into the crowd.

Clearly no stranger to pain, his shirt is off inside two tracks displaying a number of pieces of skin-ink while simultaneously wearing an ugly scar to the forehead acquired during previous sessions of on-stage self-flagellation. At a selfish level, the energetic magnetism on display here tonight leaves Abraham a nightmare to photograph, his neglected band a much easier option, but it’s a pity they’re rendered a side-show because the intelligent interplay of the three guitars is uncommon in the hardcore world.

Coming together they nevertheless rip through favourites from The Chemistry Of Common Life and last year’s David Comes To Life all the same, the tattooed and the tough that comprise the crowd naturally reciprocating, swarming as at feeding frenzy and lapping up Abraham’s interval chatter and offers of water to the front row. In fact, despite the obvious, the Fucked Up road-show is all rather gentlemanly in contrast to the psychedelic garage-punk and snotty insults dished out by support act Fair Ohs .

Just as the similarly styled Les Savy Fav rely on the theatrics of their frontman to excel in the live arena so too do Fucked Up. Though they’re undoubtedly preaching to the converted they gain a new identity away from the relatively safe confines of the record format, burning even more intensely and with more urgency.