Black Lungs & Fucked Up at Cabaret Voltaire

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There’s a small moment of hesitation before you lunge yourself into the sweaty embrace of Fucked Up’s Pink Eye (or Damian Abraham, whatever), but then the music kicks back in and suddenly you’re shouting down a microphone, your head bobbing uncontrollably, and being thrown around again by other people as Abraham makes his way back to the back of the crowd, probably to hurl his voice at the more innocent listeners.

It takes effort to get an Edinburgh audience moving, a crowd more used to the folk and indie pop peaceful mentality than a hardcore show. So when a punk outfit like Fucked Up does make its way to Scotland’s capital, the first few moments as everyone gages what the rest of the crowd will do are a bit tense. Luckily for the moshers amongst us who need a little push to get started, Mr. Abraham has no issue with getting extremely involved, extremely loud, and extremely sweaty for an hour and a half. And he will do all of these things two centimetres away from your face.

The rest of the band gets a bit lost in the hustle that happens in the front rows of the show, no one really pays attention to the five other pretty excellent musicians standing on stage, providing the riffs that keep the crowd moving. Presumably they don’t mind, because they still give it their all, and their all is extremely good.

Opener Black Lungs faced a much harder challenge - working with a crowd that didn’t really know them. Wade MacNeil and the rest of the band tried their best to get a reaction out of the crowd, and were mildly successful at it. The music and passion were there, perhaps a little less overwhelming than Fucked Up’s, but a punk show isn’t a punk show if the crowd isn’t willing.

This posed a fairly interesting question to me: the crowd was clearly made up of twenty something hipsters - even those at the front, where are the younger ranks of fans that used to attend punk shows and made hardcore what it is today?  

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