FLATS Bristol Cooler 12 March 2011
I first saw FLATS last year on the NME Radar, when they opened the bill for the Chapel Club and headliners Joy Formidable. In truth their early slot meant that the audience was sparse, but I was blown away by the sheer brutal nature of their music and the speed at which they attacked their songs. The whole set lasted 13 minutes and they left the stage to a screaming wall of feedback and in truth very little response from the punters who had by enlarge come early to catch the achingly cool Chapel Club. However, given their similarity to early punk band Discharge, I was hooked, so when they announced their own tour I was prepared to drag my sorry arse once again over the Severn Bridge to catch them in Bristol.
Well, what can I say? I guess if you like bands such as Discharge, Crass, Black Flag, Rudimentary Penis, Agnostic Front, Minor Threat etc, you will like them. If not then er . you wont!
They played a few songs of the debut CD Lack of Stature and Are You Feeling Rusty but rather surprisingly omitted their most recognisable number Mucky Pup, a cover of the old Puncture number, which was originally made famous by being covered on the first Exploited long player in 1981. The rest of the numbers were unknown to me, but rest assured didnt deviate from the bands mantra of all songs being fast, short, heavy and with Dan screaming the lyrics as loud as he can. Titles such as Fast, Tango Ballet and Moonwalk give little away, although I did recognize the aforementioned single Never Again which is sadly not a cover of Discharges song from the early 1980s. The crowd was appreciative, if a little subdued, although matters did pick up when a stage invader seemed intent on picking a fight with Dan. But all in all, whilst I still enjoy their music tonight was a little, well, flat (pun intended).