Future of the Left – Heaven (13 November 2013)

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I always went to see Future of the Left when they played. If we couldn’t have McLusky they were the next best thing. (Anyone else traumatised by how disappointing Shooting at Unarmed Men were?) Last time I caught them was not only the first time since I moved to London but my first since they became a 4 (sometimes 5) piece. More importantly it was the first time that they seemed really a band in their own right.

I am not beyond suggesting this could largely be down to the addition of Julia Ruzicka on bass. There’s always been a thing about the FotL bass player that has seemed like a thin Jon Chapple impersonation. Instead she gives the proceedings a more downright funky and nuanced underpinning – of course, while still rocking your boots and shaking your fillings.

Ostensibly, FotL are a shouty punky band.  But, there’s so much more to what they do.  They remind me of Faith No More; so easy to dismiss the generic(sic) elements of their sound, but doing so is to miss entirely the point.  For every moment of vitriol spat forward there are ten of sheer triumphal exhilaration.  Yes, it’s got tunes, it’s got melody.  The skewed synth-pop double bill Manchasm and You Need Satan More Than He Needs You are enough to set you to burning down chvrches. As mentioned before, it gets funky.  And, we’re not talking clod-hopping Chilli Pepper funky – genuinely funky.

This band have spent the last 6 months playing constantly, as far as I can tell.  I know I’ve missed them about three times.  They’ve been on the bill for every smaller festival as far as I can tell.  It seems to be paying off.  Tonight, however, they are choir preaching.  A packed crowd in Heaven are hollering long at the top of thier voice.  The band seem genuinely chuffed with this.  “Thank you all for coming out tonight.  Playing to 30 in Liverpool is all well and good, but this is special.”

As is the finishing Lapsed Catholics/Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues medley.  The spoken intro tearing into everything that’;s wrong with pour world – today.  And, the traditional set dismantling noise breakdown.  (During which I’m sure the second guitarist Jimmy Watkins runs through the audience with what appears to be a turd on a stick.)  There’s even a point during this where drummer Jack Egglestone is down to a floor-tom and starts to get a groove on with Ms Ruzicka that gets me thinking there might be something to this jam-noize shizzle.  Yeah, we’re not in Kansas any more.

Really, must remember to pick the new album.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

14 November 2013 at 11:39 am

Posted in Gigs, London

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