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Thank / Fashion Tips, The White Hotel. 4th April 2024

There are many things I love about The White Hotel, but one of them is the lack of sound proofing. As you walk up to the building you can hear the noise inside trying to get out. That noise is brilliant and belongs to Fashion Tips. I’ve not heard them before and they’re marvellous. Angrily bludgeoning through a support set packed with industrial synths, terrifying vocals and wild guitars. The lad on bass plays like he both loves the instrument and wants to kill it, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone play quite like him. The guitarist is in some ways more controlled, until he drops to his knees and starts banging FX pedals with his hands as feedback rings out. They’re genuinely exciting to watch, both the singer who rules the stage and the girl that’s creating mayhem with a bank of electronics punch the air and scream with an untamed power that’s infectious. I’m definitely sold.

I’ve come here for one of my favourite bands, Thank. Freddie may look like a pleasant chap in his smoking jacket-cardigan-blazer, but make no mistake, he’s a ball of deadly energy laced with razor sharp wit. They’re an odd looking bunch to be fair, but that makes them all the more endearing. Steve on drums looks like a bloody prize fighter and I’m sure has more ink than last time I saw them. With two albums under their belt, tonight is a set of largely new stuff. So previous knowledge is not required. ‘Control’ is just that, a tight monster that slowly unfurls. With the bass, drums and a moody moog for good measure there’s a lot of rhythm in their sound. Providing a dark core for Freddie to scream doom laden lyrics over. It might not seem obvious, but he’s got a good range for a screamer. ‘Good Boy’ sounds bloody brutal as usual and is a reminder of just how great the Thoughtless Cruelty album is. The new stuff like ‘Do It Badly’ sounds great too, it’s bouncy and bodes well for the forthcoming record. Layers are removed for ‘Woke Frasier’ which is about exactly what it sounds like. I think it might be my favourite of the new stuff, but it’s hard to choose. After Freddie takes a quick comfort break, they come back with ‘Commemorative Coin’. It’s raw, powerful and with its ominous “my god is a vengeful god” line, brings a focused awe to the room. It may be that it’s more familiar, but it certainly wakes up the crowd. After a tongue in cheek declaration of “Let’s Rock!”, they close (sort of) with ‘Writing Out A List Of All The Names of God’. It’s like three songs smashed together and despite never having heard it before, it feels like a worthy set closer. Until Freddie, ever the frontman, teases us into hyping them up for one more song which they dutifully deliver with a furious ‘Torture Cube’. Before Freddie unbuttons to the waist and wiggles his arse for a bonus of one of their best, ‘Punching Bag’. It’s a brilliant set, in a brilliant venue, from a brilliant band that have introduced me to another brilliant band tonight. Thank(s).


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