Photo Credit: @fudgebandofficial
Stood atop the the Lending Room’s beer soaked bar, arms outstretched like Christ The Redeemer in an Adidas track jacket, Fudge’s Cam begins the band’s headline set by diving into the crowd and clambering onto stage, middle fingers held proudly in the air. In terms of chaos and energy that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
In 2019 the punk and DIY scene is saturated by bands who take themselves too seriously but Leeds based Fudge are outliers, their ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude giving them a swagger, confidence and charm you just can’t help but love. It would be easy to focus on frontman Cam who’s sweary banter and chaotic stage presence may have been the most memorable aspect of the set but the band’s charm is equally down to the explosive instrumentals courtesy of guitarist Otto, bassist Josh and drummer Angus. Tight, driving and ferocious riffs combined with aggressive vocals fuel banger after banger, with all the energy and volume of far larger acts. It’s the sort of messy, fuzzy punk that rips into my core not to mention my eardrums, the sort of stuff I adore. The intimate setting of the Lending Room’s 200 person capacity naturally lent itself to this madness; in terms of energy it was like witnessing a hand grenade being detonated in a bin. Chants of “oi oi, come on then, come on then” accompanied the bands latest single ‘Not A Threat, Just A Warning’, conducted by frontman Cam who took advantage of the chaos to launch himself into the crowd. At times I had to abandon my fellow editor Beth just because I wanted to throw myself around in the mosh pits. I have zero shame about that.
I’ve mentioned the word ‘punk’ a lot already but I think that Fudge a bit more complicated than that. They straddle a plethora of genres, certain songs feeling like punk, others rock or indie and the vocal delivery and performance being akin to that of grime artists. Influences come from a wide range of sources, from Rage Against The Machine and Royal Blood to The Streets and Skepta, creating roaring soundscapes of fuzz and fury. The only brief breaks from these thundering tunes come in the form of banter and drinking, stage dives and monologues. It’s unusual for such a small band to be able to captivate an entire room but with Fudge it seems natural. Interacting with an audience is an often overlooked aspect of performance yet the group seem to be mastering it already. Playing a tight set of original material, the lads weaved in a couple of crowd-pleasers in the form of a chaotic mashup of The Prodigy, Skepta and Dizzee Rascal that seemingly came out of nowhere but suited the band perfectly. Their music might not be flawless but that’s not the point. I’ve been to a lot of smaller punk, rock and indie shows over the past year and few have surprised and entertained me quite as much as Fudge.