“Spain the best country in Europe by far,” beams FIDLAR frontman Zac Carper. “You’re way better than those French people.”
They may have made it to the World Cup final, but seems the French can’t compete with the feral and punk-hungry hordes of Madrid. Fuck, if you could see them then you’d see why. While the early evening sun sees many scurrying to hide even in the most obscure corners of shade, FIDLAR bring out one of the first huge crowds of the day to rage against the heat.
Opening with recent single ‘Alcohol’, FIDLAR kick off with a mood of completely unhinged abandon that does not relent. From the twisted surfer rock of ‘No Waves’ to their respectfully acerbic cover of Nirvana’s ‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle’, FIDLAR are as close to a perfect house party band as you could hope for. That’s not to do them a disservice: there’s nothing dumb and throwaway about what they do. The ‘American Pie’ soundtrack this is not. They just take the dizzying highs and darkest lows of youthful hedonism and turn it into a really loud exorcism.
“Let’s try something new here: girls only moshpit,” squawks Carper as the chaps take a step back to send the ladies to the front. “Get the dick off the dance floor”. It works. There’s a feral energy but a joyful unity to a FIDLAR crowd. Arm in arm, fists in the air, pints flying, all is full of love – and it’s rebounding from the stage too. “Let’s give it up for Slaves,” shouts Carpenter, honouring the duo who just tore apart the main stage. “Those guys are pretty good for some Brit c**ts,” he jokes. “Those guys are pretty good for some colonisers.”
If there’s any justice, FIDLAR’s next record should take them to main stage festival slots the world over. The new material they debut tonight certainly has a more universal and infectious arena-ready rush to it, while losing none of their razor blade edge. One a new track he almost raps: “That was so last week, now I need a new thing“. Let FIDLAR be it.
“A friend of mine told me that Spanish people are crazy, especially people from Madrid,” says Carpenter. “Cheers to you because I love craziness”. When you bring it like FIDLAR just did, there’s no other choice – and nobody does craziness like Spain.