Future of the Left’s show at the Brudenell this Friday was possibly the greatest gig that I’ve attended thus far in Leeds, and I can say that without a hint of exaggeration.
Musically, the set was contained a bit of the band’s earlier, electronic-influenced work, but was largely a mix of their newer, punk and indie-influenced noise rock. This meant that the set was began at full intensity, and while there were a few lighter tracks in the middle, like ‘Fuck Off Robocop’ and ‘How to Spot a Record Company,’ these were only light in comparison to the crushing heaviness of the bookending tracks, the most intense of which may have been the track ‘Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues,’ which was played during the medley at the end of the set.
Indeed, this was possibly the best part of the whole show, containing great tracks like ‘Lapsed Catholics’ and ‘French Lessons,’ and climaxing in an extremely high-energy, repeating guitar riff, while frontman Andrew Faulkous moved the drum set around the stage, forcing drummer Jack Egglestone to rely to less and less equipment with each new measure. Eventually, Egglestone gave a drumstick to a man in the front row, who then had to hit the rearranged equipment on Egglestone’s behalf.
A large part of what separated the gig from others was Falkous’ charisma. It’s worth keeping in mind that he stopped four of the songs in the set, including the last one, because he messed up his part. Rather than ruining the atmosphere, each time it happened was treated as part of the show, and any hard feelings were instantly removed when the band then replayed the songs, correctly this time. One of these incidents actually occurred during a 20 second outro for one of the songs, resulting in a hilarious argument between Falkous and the audience, the former of whom insisted on playing the song in full again from the beginning, before being convinced to play from the last verse onwards instead.
It was the best crowd interaction I’ve experienced at a gig, with Falkous taking stabs at everyone from Nigel Farage to Phil Collins, from David Miscavige to the band’s own drummer. The band, at one stage, covered Mclusky, Falkous’ previous, critically-acclaimed Noise Rock band. They played ‘Without MSG I Am Nothing,’ resulting in a fan heckling them as to why they chose that track in particular, leading Falkous to make an extremely passive-aggressive speech about how the song was the foundation for Future of the Left’s own sound, all whilst staring directly into the man’s eyes. At another stage, Falkous stopped a song in its climax to angrily point out that someone was recording the show, and then, in the tense atmosphere he had created, he broke the silence by telling him to film it in landscape mode rather than portrait. With the phone correctly rotated, they immediately restarted the song.
I would say that they were phenomenal, but even saying that is an understatement. The band was far more intense live than any of their studio records would have you believe, and I honestly cannot recommend them enough. It was spectacular.
Image: Beat Magazine