Filter at Islington Academy
Filter are celebrating 20 years since their inception in 1993. They have six albums fronted by Richard Patrick, with 2013 seeing the release of The Sun Comes Out Tonight. Tagged as industrial rock, their music has attracted a subculture of leather-clad audience members. For a small, nondescript venue, the place is packed with fist pumping, swaying arms and heavy, punctuated clapping.
Filter combine a mixture of old and new. Inevitably the encore includes the commercially successful Hey Man, Nice Shot – the band’s most famous and controversial song from album Short Bus (recorded with original and ex-bandmate Liesegang). Many have suggested this was inspired by the suicides of either Budd Dwyer or Kurt Cobain.
Additions to the set list include the more chilled Take a Picture – “Could you take my picture/Cause I won’t remember”. There is a pathos to the lyrics that reveals a time when Patrick was shamefully drunk aboard a plane and stripped (“Hey dad what do you think about your son now?”). There are allusions to a wayward lifestyle: “I love drugs” shouts Patrick, referring to (Can’t You) Trip Like I Do? Yet the singer has announced he has been clean since 2002 (the date of sobriety tattooed on his arm).
Patrick is the showman while other band members flail their tattooed limbs and hair. He interacts with the crowd seamlessly, with frequent intermissions to chat with fans and film himself and the crowd on his phone – a combination of modern day rock-god narcissism combined with his sheer delight to be doing what he loves best. Encouraging the masses to purchase the new album he jokes “Or download it illegally – I bet you did – but it doesn’t matter let’s have a f***ing party!”.
Although perhaps not flavour of the week in the current musical climate, this rock gig packs a punch. New song What Do You Say is extremely catchy, with the audience yelling back “Hey! Hey”. There is a cult of followers willing to transport Patrick across the room as he crowd-surfs perfectly. In fact, he gets so far he can be heard yelling to the band “I’m on the way to the bar – you guys wanted something chilled?”.
Photos: Luna Ingrassia
For further information and future events visit Filter’s website here.
Watch the music video for What Do You Say here: