Fat White Family say it’s ‘ironic’ they’re banned from playing London’s Somerset House

Brixton band were invited to support Franz Ferdinand this July before organisers intervened

Fat White Family have told NME they think it’s “ironic” that they’ve been banned from appearing at this year’s Summer Series at Somerset House.

The band were invited to support Franz Ferdinand at their headline performance during the run of open-air live shows at the London arts and culture centre this July.

However, in a message shared online by Franz Ferdinand drummer Paul Thomson and Fat White Family, organisers of the event ruled the London band out of appearing, stating that “Fat White Family are unsuitable to play at the venue and do not fit in with the ethos of the event.”


Issuing their own statement to NME, Fat White Family have responded to the ban and said: “Fat White Family were asked by Franz Ferdinand to support them at Somerset House. Greedily eyeing the thousands of innocents that would be gathered there, the band eagerly said yes. We find no little irony in the fact that The Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House has amongst its permanent collection A Bar At The Folies-Bergere by Eduard Manet, someone who himself was once deemed a danger to public health. This was said about Manet’s painting the Absinthe Drinker when it was rejected for the Paris Salon:

‘An absinthe drinker! And they paint abominations like that! My poor friend, you are the absinthe drinker. It is you who have lost your moral sense.’ Plus ca change as the French might say.”

A spokesperson for Somerset House declined to comment.

The annual series of gigs will run from July 10-20 this year at London’s Somerset House. Joining the line-up alongside Franz Ferdinand will also be fellow headliners Sam Smith and Clean Bandit as well as Chvrches, Kelis, Little Dragon, Daughter, Kodaline, Agnes Obel and The Cat Empire .

The Summer Series at Somerset House has previously stages performances by artists including the xx, Adele, Florence + The Machine, Bloc Party, Amy Winehouse and Kasabian.

The 2014 Somerset House Summer Series shows are as follows:


Daughter (July 10)
Kodaline (11)
Agnes Obel (12)
The Cat Empire (13)
Kelis (14)
Bastille (15)
Franz Ferdinand (16)
Chvrches (17)
Sam Smith (18)
Clean Bandit (19)
Little Dragon (20)