Images by Georgina Hurdsfield
If you haven’t heard me rant about just how good FREAK are then you simply haven’t been keeping a close enough eye on the Intertainment site. We were introduced to the 18-year-old Connar Ridd, better known as FREAK when they were supporting Black Honey at the Ruby Lounge, the same venue they play their Dot to Dot set. Since then FREAK has released his debut EP I Like To Smile When I’m Sad which exceeded expectations to be one of the most promising releases we’ve heard so far this year.
For his set at Dot to Dot the crowd is more or less split between younger FREAK fans, and those not yet converted to the cause. With relative ease FREAK bring the crowd crashing to the front within seconds of walking on stage, and from there proceeds to conduct a particularly lively pit in the centre of the venue. It all happens so fast, there’s a sea of pleasantly surprised faces, particularly towards the back of the room that remind us of the same face we pulled when we first heard the 19-year-olds punk rock, riff-focused onslaught.
It’s without a doubt the relentlessness of FREAK’s music that inspires sights like we witnessed at the Ruby Lounge. They’re a punk band that don’t take themselves too seriously, even throwing in Britney Spears Toxic cover that, although doesn’t come close to the calibre of their other tracks, does involve the audience less familiar with the band, and therefore on the fence about whether to get involved. It makes them perfect for a festival slot, and with their tracks sounding this good, they’re pretty perfect for the rest of the music scene as well.
“Not bad for a kid right” we overhear an older gentleman say on our way out of the venue. We’d go one further and say FREAK’s set was pretty damn great for anyone, at any age.