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Fozzy @ Islington Academy, London

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WORDS: Tim Chisnall

FOZZY are one of those bands that every rock fan seems to know. Whilst never quite building a hugely successful career, the band are ever present on touring cycles and festival appearances. We sent one of our newest recruits to see if the band still had the same impact as they did back in the day.

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SUMO CYCO were the first to admit “you’ve probably never heard of us” and took it upon themselves to make a lasting impression. That is certainly what they did. Their front woman was on a mission to steal the show and performed in some kind of Tim Burton style maids outfit with bright red hair. The band performed solidly and all together played with plenty of energy, there were impressive moments of technical guitar playing and the rhythm section held together very well throughout their set. The music was decent and catchy enough, giving individual band members the chance to show off some of their skills throughout the performance too. A cover of MACKLEMORE‘s Can’t Hold Us had sections of the crowd chanting along with them but like with many pop songs covered by punk / metal bands, lacks some musical interest.

It seems though, that the rest of the band must be used to having the limelight somewhat drawn away from them by their skimpily dressed, borderline insane vocalist Sever. Her stunt of running through the crowds taking pictures and dancing on the bar summarises her stage performance well, and her vocal talents are broad and powerful, from singing and screaming to rapping long sections of certain songs (for those whose taste that appeals to). Whilst a little too obsessed with “taking selfies”, SUMO CYCO put out a hell of a performance that will not be long forgotten. If you like attitude, personality and musical diversity, go and seem them.

Rating: 7/10

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NONPOINT performed an absolutely crushing set with more spinning sweaty dreadlocks than any other. From the moment they arrived on stage their presence was absolutely dominating. The bar had been set high by them for energetic performance, all band members gave 100% and barely had their feet on the ground throughout. One member stood out in particular, guitar wielding B C Kochmit; spinning, jumping and throwing his guitar around like it was weightless. All the while managing to keep in time and play proficiently.

Even between songs, the crowd interactions were confident, witty and didn’t come across to overly arrogant. Some American acts may have a reputation in the UK for slightly cheesy, cringe worthy stage egos but NONPOINT absolutely knew what they were doing and they definitely know how whip up the crowd into a frenzy.

Their music is simple yet effective. Head-banging and fist pumping riffs with lyrics that an audience can shout along to. It was certainly a lot of fun though music of this style can begin to show its restrictions without extending from its somewhat basic formula. The music of NONPOINT is not elaborate and their lyrics are not inspirational, but their intention is not to create artistic masterpieces. It is to launch a torrent of explosive sound to a whole crowd jumping and giving themselves whiplash to a great set list.

Rating: 8/10

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FOZZY‘s music is definitely best performed live. Their online music videos are at times painful to watch and the songs seem a little bland. Simple, cliché lyrics also seem far too obvious when recorded in a studio but the atmosphere of a concert manages to remove some of this and replace it with the entertainment that FOZZY have some talent in providing. The lyrics become anthems that the crowd all know the words to and the band make up for their simplistic songwriting by confidently blasting them out and having great fun whilst doing so. Their studio work leaves the uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty to whether or not they’re being serious with their work or if it’s almost a STEEL PANTHER style satire idea. But their larger-than-life stage show, with its total enthusiasm, grinning faces and LED- coated jackets prove they’re really just out to enjoy themselves, entertain the crowd and embrace their cheesiness.

Whilst FOZZY were a little overshadowed by their supporting acts, the crowd still knew who they wanted to see and FOZZY t-shirts were in abundance. After hearing their studio albums it was pleasantly surprising to see what they could blast out at a live gig and this is what the review is focusing on. If you like FOZZY‘s music you absolutely will not be disappointed and the rating may seem a little harsh, but they were not actually bad in any way, just fell short of the very high mark set by the bands that had performed before them.

Rating: 6/10

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