It isn’t difficult to identify the concept lurking behind Britain’s dissonant rock outfit Fat White Family, recently dubbed “the most dangerous band in Britain” on the cover of overseas rock weekly NME : Audience provocation, and the sky’s the limit.
It accounts for the band’s prickly moniker, its label name Without Consent, and its jarring 2013 debut “Champagne Holocaust” with songs such as “Bomb Disneyland,” “Touch the Leather,” “Who Shot Lee Oswald?” and the fellatio-themed “Is It Raining in Your Mouth?” And that’s just for starters.
Band members also have protested the gentrification of their working-class London neighborhood by launching a Yuppies Out Facebook group and serving cider on the street outside posh bistro openings.
Feral frontman Lias Saoudi – who brings FWF to The City this weekend, with his brother Nathan on keyboards – is the group’s reigning enfant terrible in concert, having exposed himself onstage, tossed severed pig’s heads in videos, and even ended one wild show writhing in excrement.
“Yeah, I covered myself in my own shit in Sheffield – it was a nod to the late, great G.G. Allin or the Irish freedom fighter Bobby Sands, take your pick,” says the singer. But there’s a method to Saoudi’s madness. As a Situationist-inspired performer, he says, first you identify the societal problem, and then simplify it for listeners as best you can.
“There’s nothing you can do about it – I’m not a politician, I’m not really an activist,” he says. “It’s my job to provide as accurate and easily digestible description of that problem, as I see it, so people can huddle around that definition and somehow connect to it. So I do enjoy provocation – it’s just a medium that you have to work with.”
Saoudi is still stunned that “Holocaust” caught on. He recorded the album while working as an English teacher for foreign students: “An OK job if you weren’t viciously hung over, which I was a lot of the time. But it was good training for eventually taking a proper stage – I could deal with the awkward stares by then,” he says.
Posting the album online to little fanfare, the musicians relocated to Barcelona, then Berlin, seeking a following. But they found a pub residency waiting upon their return to London.v The Berber-descended Saoudi is now attracting fans like Sean Lennon, who brought FWF to his New York studios to co-produce its upcoming second release. And he’s got plenty of new subjects to rail against, like the ridiculous selfie stick invention. “There’s just no hope for humanity when you see things like that,” he says. “So I’m only alive now out of gruesome fascination – that’s the one thing that keeps me going!”
IF YOU GO
<p> Fat White Family
Where: Chapel, 777 Valencia St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. May 17
Contact: (415) 551-5157, www.ticketfly.com