FUN LOVIN’ FISTICUFFS

Punches thrown over Republica's Saffron...

A prolonged war of words between Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Underworld has escalated into violence, resulting in a brawl at the Big Day Out festival in Sydney.

An eyewitnesses told NME that FLC‘s Huey threw a punch at Underworld‘s Karl Hyde as he left the stage following the band’s set on January 23. Then, the next day, the two bands found themselves at the same hotel and a screaming match ensued.

According to other bands on the tour, FLC had heard that Karl had been “dissing” them in interviews, and Fast had made no secret of the fact that as a result he intended to “deck” Hyde during their tour together.

The animosity appears to stem from the fact that FLC‘s Fast, who plays bass and keyboards with the band, goes out with Saffron from Republica, who a few years ago, used to go out with Karl Hyde.

As Underworld played their set on the Sydney leg of the travelling festival, Fast stood at the side of the stage, accompanied by his bodyguard, Huey and Deejay Punk-Roc.

As the band left the stage, Huey swung a punch at Karl – but missed.

An eyewitness said it was all quite comical: “The bouncer was really embarrassed, he’s a British bloke who weighs about 17 stone, and was there to help out if it all got a bit much for Fast. Thing is, Karl Hyde is only about 5ft 5ins.”

When the tour landed in Melbourne two days later, both bands arrived simultaneously at the same hotel and the stand-off began again, this time with a barrage of verbal abuse.

Our eyewitness said: “It was all extremely frosty.” No blows were traded, but Underworld moved hotels shortly afterwards.

A flustered Hyde later told a reporter in Melbourne that he had no idea what had prompted the violence but that Underworld were “not into the New York gangster vibe”.

The generally placid band were said to be “freaked out” by the events. A source at FLC‘s UK record company Chrysalis, who did not wish to be identified, told NME: “This has been brewing for a while and it’s all over Saffron. I really don’t know who started it originally. FLC say it’s Underworld, but there you go.”