Returning after a gap of six months Fuzz Club was Art Brut’s first opportunity to try out some of their new material live.
Supported by The Crookes, a band made up of Sheffield University students; the second instalment of Fuzz Club’s tenth birthday celebrations promised a lot for the fans who attended.
As support, The Crookes put in a solid performance which was entertaining for the early audience who were steadily filling out the venue. Being a locally known band understandably helped draw in an audience more familiar with their music and an enthusiastic response helped build up momentum for the headline act.
The Crookes’ best known song, ‘Back Street Lovers’ was probably familiar to any Fuzz club regular, as it’s a mainstay of the club night’s playlist. ’Back Street Lovers’ formed a good highlight in a set which successfully warmed the audience up for the main act without stealing any limelight from them.
Art Brut themselves were met with a great response from what was, by that point, a nearly full venue. Although front man Eddie Argos may have admitted some apprehension in his return to the stage, his performance didn’t betray it and throughout the set he created a growing energy in the audience.
In fact, there were few mistakes throughout the entire set list, which on the whole was well considered. It’s not always easy to balance the well known tracks against new material in a relatively short set time, yet most of the audience seemed satisfied. Perhaps most memorable was the surprise encore which was a unique version of ‘Back in Black’.
Fuzz Club can be a difficult venue, even for well established acts like Art Brut. Many of the audience members have paid for the club night rather than the band themselves and that can create a struggle to enthuse a crowd who may be unfamiliar or even uninterested with who’s on stage.
However Art Brut treated this returning gig with a joy for performance which was infectious, and any of the uninitiated who saw them will most likely have left the club as a convert.