A Fight You Can’t Win will sweat for you. If you’re lucky enough, they will share some of that sweat with you after their set – they’re that kind of caring band.
This gig was the debut of AFYCW’s new guitarist, Lesley (she’s a lady, she doesn’t sweat – but she did glow quite a bit).
As a trio, the band were more than capable of storming the barricades with their hard-hitting, short sharp shock numbers; as a four-piece, they could succesfully invade whatever country they wish.
The addition of an extra guitar has bolstered their sound, filling it out and turning it into a full-on assault.
Frontman Matthew and Lesley stand at opposite sides of the stage, throwing crashing chords back and forth like they’re playing punk ping-pong. Bassist Paul stands front and centre, his fluid style of playing brought to the forefront as he dodges the blows the guitars deal out.
Drummer Sander pounds at his kit like he wants to kill it, producing beats and rhythms which complete the aural kicking AFYCW administer.
Some of Matthew’s distinctive banter is almost as long as the songs they play – these are two-minute salvos which don’t waste any time with filler or unnecessary mucking about: they go straight for the jugular and do it in a suitably gripping way, locking onto it like angry puppies until they let go briefly – before doing it all over again.
Numbers like Oran Rath spend a little longer in your ears; again, the additional guitar turns these already vital and visceral songs into a massive unstoppable machine which threatens to flatten everything within a ten-mile radius.
Before Lesley, AFYCW were an exciting live act with a great set: not for the faint-hearted, but giving it their all with every gig.
Now, it’s as if Lesley’s guitar-playing is the piece they never knew they were missing, and it slots in perfectly to complete the band’s sound, allowing them to fully lock and load and turning them into one of the most powerful and enjoyable live bands on the circuit.