Tim Commerford brandishes a megaphone as he leads a group of people off a double decker bus that proudly declares ‘Generation Fucked’ along one side. His Wakrat bandmates, Mathias Wakrat and Laurent Grangeon, follow suit, carrying hand-sprayed placards. “Don’t be scared,” he encourages before the group is led around the edge of Parliament Square in London with the back and forth chant of “We’re fucked, totally fucked” ringing out. Eventually the band plants a flag in the centre of the green, claiming the location as The Republic of Wakrat.
Tourists look on bemused and the lone security guard is annoyed, adamant they can’t film here but are fine to set up their own state 100 metres to the left. Eventually Wakrat and accomplices return to the bus, ready to make their escape. Only, it’s broken down and a series of black cabs are recruited to take everyone to The Black Heart for a celebration/charity fundraiser/headline show. It’s not exactly shutting down Wall Street but the message of enough being enough is plain to see. It’s amplified even further later that evening when Wakrat take to the stage.
‘Knucklehead’ kicks things off with ‘Generation Fucked’ following shortly after. Unsurprisingly, Wakrat aren’t a band to beat around the bush. Their two released tracks are as angular, gritty and venomous as on record with the rest of the set opening things up even more. Off-kilter and frayed around the edges but energetic and adventurous throughout, the band are tightly wound yet unpredictable. Swinging as one, Wakrat knows how to rage. There’s a hint of childlike excitement backing every moment. Their music may be driven by frustration, but there’s still room for entertainment.
As it comes to a noisy, fraught end, the spark behind tonight burns bright. The details don’t matter, it’s all about the change Wakrat are fighting for. The community they’re trying to build. And maybe they’re right and we are fucked but enough is enough. It’s time for change. Don’t be scared.