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The Independent Culture
There's a poignant tale doing the rounds. It concerns American luminaries Mudhoney and Fugazi (right), American noisy types who go back a long way, both touring Britain this month. The story goes like this: a member of Seattle's grunge wizards Mudhoney went to visit a Fugazi person in Washington DC. The only problem was that the Fugazi dude took exception to the alcoholic beverage about his visitor's person - and insisted he get rid of it before he entered his house. So the Mudhoney man was forced to drink it quickly. Which meant he spewed his guts up over the furniture as soon as he was inside.

Fugazi, with their DIY punk chic and clean living - no drink, no drugs or ciggies stance, dubbed "straight-edge" - has made them as big an influence on the hardcore scene since the late Eighties as Kurt Cobain was on grunge. The difference is that their obsession with keeping things grass-roots makes it all less hype-machine and corporate-rock friendly. But such is the demand for their presence, they are playing the Brixton Academy again, to serve up morsels from their new album Red Medicine. Partly driving, heavy pressure riffage like "Bed for the Scraping", often meandering, riddle-happy and damned awkward, it takes time to get to grips with it. But that's also what's expected of them.

As with their last visit here, the ticket price (£6) has been kept relatively low. Joining the bill are female Yank punksters Slant 6 and South African rap brigade Prophets of Da City. For the sober and the sussed, gig of the month.

Fugazi, Sat, Brixton Academy, SW9

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