Future of the Left - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:

Brexit Britain might sometimes feel like some terrible remake of all the worst parts of the nineteen-eighties yet in these Tory dominating, NHS dwindling, right-wing media spewing times it’s crucial that we retain our sense of humour. Future of the Left provide more screaming than a whole heap of post-hardcore bands as well as the necessary humour to endure these perilous times with a wry, knowing smile affixed to your tired, haggard and terminally disappointed face.

While not being an overtly political band, Future of the Left still produce music and commentary that feels appropriate to the times we live in. Frontman, Andrew ‘Falco’ Falkous makes a number of comments throughout the night that while frequently funny reveal someone who’s passionately pissed off. It’s the way these comments connect with the audience that give a Future of the Left gig its sense of communal catharsis.

One of the night’s biggest cheers comes when Falco cheerily informs us that Nigel Farage is moving to the US. He envisions some kind of medieval stake burning before suggesting celebrations in the form of mass line-dancing (“Something English, something he’d like”). Further applause and laughter follow his description of the politician as a “stupid, racist, c#nt” before the band plough into the appropriately demonic ‘You Need Satan More than he Needs You’.

Falco, Jack Egglestone, Julia Ruzicka and Ian Catskilkin take to the stage and there’s a brief, comedic pause before they launch into the Rawhide-esque, a-capella section of the mighty ‘adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood’. When they follow this with the war-like rush of ‘Arming Eritrea’ you know it’s going to be a fucking good show.

Songs from The Peace and Truce of Future of the Left provide short, punky blasts of aggression and lyrical ingenuity with ‘Eating for None’ delivering such surreal delights as, “add another finger to your English breakfast/ you army surplus motherfucker!” The dangerously catchy ‘Limits of Battleships’ seems destined to become a live staple while the addictively relentless rumble of ‘If AT&T Drank Tea What would BP Do?’ provides one of Ruzicka’s finest bass lines. The brilliantly explosive ‘Reference Point Zero’ is so good that they play it twice.

The back-catalogue is plundered for the likes of ‘How to Spot a Record Company’ and ‘Small Bones, Small Bodies’ while a synth is wheeled on for the joyful madness of ‘Manchasm’ (everyone now, “Colin is a pussy/a very pretty pussy/ Colin is a pussy/ a very pretty pussy cat”). The dark, tense racket of mclusky classic ‘Without MSG I Am Nothing’ is unleashed, sounding just as fierce as you remember. It really is enough to have any self-respecting FOTL/mclusky fan frothing at the mouth.

As the show nears the end the band begin their now traditional medley, cramming four classics into the space of a few minutes. Midway through Falco stops the musical montage and peers out towards the back of the room, “are you fucking sieg heiling you c#nt?!”

For a good few seconds the room feels incredibly tense. Falco had relayed a story earlier in the night about this happening at a previous gig but could there really be some arsehole at the back of the Brudenell, at a Future of the Left gig, giving the fascist salute? Then a nervous voice from the back of the room answers, “I’m just filming on my phone”. The tensions broken, everyone laughs and Falco smiles and apologises, the show goes on. 2016 might very well have seen the rise of the far-right but thankfully they’re absent from tonight’s gig.

In these crazy and somewhat unpredictable times it’s reassuring to know that the Future of the Left is out there, joyfully screaming into the abyss. The show ends in a flurry of noise and chaos, a member of the audience hitting one of the now dismantled snare drums as the band plough into one almighty, feedback-drenched dirge.

Trying to sum up the night Falco tells us “It’s been good Leeds. And weird” before leaving us with some sage and no-doubt heartfelt advice, “don’t eat Dairylea”. Somewhere between comedy, noise and anger lies the genius of the always inimitable Future of the Left.

 

 

 

 

 

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