Heart Attack Man

This was the first time I had been to The Flapper, a pub next to the canal in Birmingham. It was an OK little venue, a basement room that was strangely a little wider than long, with a post slap bang in the middle; hardly ideal!

Thick sounded good and got the crowd warmed up. The all-woman line-up played a pure punk-rock and energetic set. With catch songs and bouncing, they were fun to watch.

I wandered into the middle of the room for a decent view of Heart Attack Man. This was a mistake and when it started I quickly "noped" out of there. It seems like some people were literally Out for Blood, with an overly violent pit. This made the gig difficult to enjoy, as I spent most of my time concentrating on a few idiots causing havoc. Maybe I'm just old.

They opened with the title track from their new album Freak Of Nature and played a few songs from the popular release including their singles Stick Up and Like A Kennedy. They also played the much requested C4 after which the singer pointed out how he realised how many of his songs talk about guns and that it feels strange singing them outside of the US (and that he actually didn't care).

After less than an hour they finished their set with my favourite song of theirs; Leap Year. There was no encore and it just ended. I was a bit disappointed; I expected at least an hour from a headline act with three albums.

Heart Attack Man’s “edgy” lyrics hadn't bothered me before – most of their songs are fun and have a decent sing-a-long quality. Yet having them supported by Thick felt really bizarre. While Thick were talking about body autonomy, mansplaining and love, Heart Attack Man played Cut My Losses, which is about not caring about someone's suicide and Cool 2 Me which happily announces not believing a friend (woman?) who said they were raped and abused. I hope that it is just their schtick, but the dissonance was loud.

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