Future Of The Left

Simon Jay Catling 14/04/2008

Over a year on from their first release and mentions of Jarcew and Mclusky in the same breath as Future Of The Left are becoming increasingly few and far between. Whilst Andy Falkous in particular will probably never be able to completely escape the shadows of his imperious former group, he is at least proving that he is a man for the challenge. Tonight, ably assisted by his increasingly prominent sidekick Kelson Mathis and the man mountain Jack Egglestone on drums, the front man rips through a blistering hour long set that is deserving of a crowd far greater than the seventy or eighty souls dotted around the Roadhouse tonight.

Opener 'The Lord Hates A Coward' blisters through the venue and, for all we know, out into Manchester, rounding on those who thought of turning up tonight, only to stay in and do their hair instead. Follow up 'Plague Of Onces' builds and builds, hoisting the audience up onto a hook and watching them squirm and wriggle to get free as it pummels relentlessly. It is frankly terrifying that just three men are creating this noise. However, It's the likes of 'Small Bones Small Bodies' and 'Manchasm' that really show how Falkous has progressed with his song writing; managing to streamline and filter his rage and energy into three minutes of what could possibly, maybe, if you imagined a bit, be described as pop songs. Certainly they sound more commercial, and in the rousing “Colin is a pussy!” coda of 'Manchasm' there contains a line that can be sung over and over again by crowds nationwide. Stopping for some typically non-PC banter in blaming the Kooks for the poor attendance (“I hope they die of AIDS…the nice AIDS though”) is about the only respite we get from this absolute blizzard of sound and to be honest, with this band, that's exactly how you'd want it. The snarling sarcastic delivery of lines like “real men hunt in packs, that's what's expected of us” and “hats are essential for travel in climates of conflict and temperate conditions” married with pulsating percussion and sharp biting guitar makes for a great set list full of energy.

The promoters at the venue should have been roundly flogged for calling a 9:30pm curfew in order for a club night to take place afterwards (“I predict Beastie Boys followed by Rage Against The Machine” Falkous quips) and certainly the crowd let their displeasure show. Whilst bands like Future Of The Left are deprived of widespread acclaim by default of the music they make, those few that do give them an inch will find that they'll take a mile; rewarding you with energy, passion and plain fun in abundance. As Kelson ended up playing his bass in the crowd and Jack relocated his snare to the top of the PA amps in front of the stage it was hard to imagine that any of the handful of people in attendance tonight haven't gone away so much as been blown away.