Fightstar - Cardiff Millennium Music Hall

'N' every gimmick hungry yob digging gold from rock 'n' roll
Grabs the mic to tell us he'll die before he's sold
But I believe in this-and it's been tested by research
he who fucks nuns will later join the church

Thus decreed Chairman Joe, but Charlie Simpson is on the opposite trajectory: having fucked the nuns as a member of Busted he’s now repenting for his misspent youth and is to be found sporting the sackcloth of the serious musician. The nuns and the sackcloth may be (may be) metaphorical but there’s a serious dearth of glamour and fun on stage with Fightstar to the point where the road crew look more likely rock stars than the band. Cheer up Charlie!

He’s got plenty to be cheery about too as the bombastic, swooping, orchestral majesty of opening number ‘War Machine’ ably demonstrates. Fightstar have complete control over their product, something that Joe never really achieved until the end, and are free to indulge their experimental side. It’s hard to categorise them but, on this evidence, they are ambitious, melodic and devastatingly loud. A modicum of experience tells you that a cocktail of beer, teenage hormones and loud music will always, always lead to a few flailing limbs and some moshing but this apparently comes as a complete surprise to the venue security who fly into an amusing apoplectic rage each time that a greasy lad even thinks about crowd surfing. All credit to them, they even manage to stem the tide until ‘Death Car’ blows the lid off things and finally we have a gig on our hands.

Highlights of a tight, polished set are recent single ‘The English Way’ and brand new song ‘City on Fire’ which will feature on the DVD content of their deluxe Be Human reissue. The gig ends on a high with a nod to their debut release with the ever present ‘Palahniuk’s Laughter’ but they return for another stab at serious gloom and doom. As they finally vacate the stage, leaving our ears ringing with the refrain Saviour, save yourself, save yourself, save yourself, it can’t just be me wishing for a bit of that old Busted magic. Cheer up Charlie!

Fightstar Cardiff Gallery

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