Live Review: Fat Dog @ Corsica Studios, London

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose endless hours melting your brain on Tik Tok. Choose The Windmill, charity shop jumpers and a haircut resembling any one of the 7 (now 6) members of Black Country, New Road. Choose enough Post-Punk to make your ears bleed. Choose SpareRoom, getting up at 7 and a £60 gym membership. Choose a help to buy ISA. Choose your friends. Choose Dan Carey, Lester Bangs and Jeremy Corbyn. Choose the low-calorie option. Choose a therapist. Choose quinoa. Choose Irvine Welsh, Carhart trousers and sleeping with your house mate. Choose relationships. Choose love. Choose following that girl you fucked on Instagram 3 years later. Choose endless nights in and blurry nights out. Choose Hinge, Tinder and any other new and exciting way to break up with your right hand. Choose Apple TV. Choose Letterboxd. Choose the empty pride you feel when you guess the Oscar winner weeks in advanced. Choose Amazon Prime, Netflix and Paramount+ because who needs spare time? Choose Airpods. Choose a big, fuck off TV and a vape you can suck on all day to ease the break from cigarettes. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, safe in the knowledge that you saw at least 15 bands no one cares about before they were famous. Choose your future. Choose LIFE. But why would I want to do a thing like that. I chose not to choose life. I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got Fat Dog.

Ah yes Fat Dog. After a nearly 45-minute wait in a cramped, sold-out Corsica Studios the band were finally ready to play. Despite no music from the band as of yet what followed was nothing short of miraculous. At least half of the crowd seemed to know every word, which was odd as it seemed hard enough to make out what singer Joe was saying after he said it, but alas, something was happening here. The electricity for a band with no music out was completely incomparable. Every one present could feel it. The non-stop show, which actually did stop for about 5 minutes about 15 minutes in due to technical difficulties, was like receiving electroshock therapy, beautiful, joyous electroshock therapy. Anyone that is unfamiliar with their sound will find little help from me. I have been struggling to pin them down ever since I came across them at End of the Road this year. I spoke to them about their influences before the set and a plethora of genres and acts got a shout out, “Really it just comes down to who I’m listening to at that moment, then I think inevitably the song I write is just a rip off” Joe joked. 

As funny a comment as it was it is barely believable to me. The band have managed to carve out their own crazy little corner in an incredibly saturated music scene with seeming ease, with enough gimmicks, bells and whistles to keep a green bottle fly with ADHD engaged. That being said there was a worry of getting pigeon holed, especially so early on in the bands career – “I don’t like to be put in a box. I want to experience crowds that don’t experience bands. When we were in Nantes the crowd was crazy because they clearly hadn’t experienced bands, they had come from more of a dance or trap music background, that was great. I want to get more into that than be stuck with this indie/post-punk bubble, which is also great.”

Highlights of their show, though it is probably best described as an entire stew of strobe lights, pounding beats and near tribal lyrical quips, can be best found within the guts of the set. A song that includes an extended breakdown with the repeated refrain “I am the king” sticks outs in the mind, perhaps for its cocky simplicity, but never the less a great time. The many great beat drops mixed in with fake outs, with the audience being met by a jazzy breakdown at the pinnacle of what felt like a dance punk banger in a song that repeats the line “it comes around…” That’s really what the set comes down to, a handful of memorable slogans breaking through the sticky neo-sci-fi buzz of the rest of the set. 

Ultimately, I could go on trying to explain what Fat Dog is, who they are as a band and what it’s like to see them live, but there is a reason the intro to this has been ‘Mark Rentonified’. The kinetic energy and shambolistic joy that comes across in their show meant that I had that opening monologue tattooed into my conscious within about five minutes of their show starting. With new music on the horizon after the sold out Corsica Show everyone should be itching for whatever they have to offer up. I have had experiences I would describe as my own personal Lesser Free Trade Hall, but this was more, this was unforgettable, this was Fat Dog.