5th June 2010
Arriving for the first time at The Lexington, it feels like a very homely and unassuming venue. The downstairs bar is welcoming and not overly trying to be hip which makes a it the perfect place for a pre-show drink. Being joined by Mr. Flowers & The Doktor we ascended the stairs to the gig venue to find a delightfully small but well designed room. Its back bar had ample room and the back tier was good for those not wanted to be in amongst the action.
Right down here is where we set ourselves for the first band up tonight, Hold Your Horse Is. Loud would be an apt word to describe these guys, but a loud well worth sticking around for. Their aggressive alt-punk was as riff packed as it was frenetic as lead guitarist/singer thrashed about in his converses and short jeans (it was last year’s school trousers look, aka “jhorts”). Brash guitars and snappy drumming hallmarked the set of agro-rock which was packed with promise. With a few more solid tunes under their belt they could do quite well in years to come.
Hold Your Horse Is
Ice, Sea, Dead People‘s play on words band name was probably the only thing which raised a smile during their performance. Again loud noise seemed to be the sound of the hour as the amps pushed to the limits of their capacity. Only this time the output was not particularly welcome. No real songs of note, just a lot of guitar spanking to little or no purpose. They seemed somewhat aloof and pretentious in their arty antics as they concentrated on their instruments rather appreciate the crowd. Plus drummer was the least likely drummer ever with his preppy, floppy haired looks and ultimate tongue out concentration face. So focused was he, that it looked as if he was attempting to blow up his drum kit with the power of the mind!
Ice, Sea, Dead People
By the time Future Of The Left arrived, the Lex was heaving and the eager crowd were ready to rumble. The Welsh heros stepped out onto the small stage and set about their business of playing rock and roll with a DIY punk twist, I was surprised to see that guitarist and front man, Andy “Falco” Falkous had only strung 3 strings of his guitar. As it turned out he clearly didn’t need them as he pumped out scuzz riffs and poppy melodic interludes with a sharp aggressive energy.
Future of The Left
It was this energy and songcraft which was the lasting feelings from this show (alongside the deafnesss!). It was no surprise that their deceptively heavy pop numbers were the best of the evening such as the punk riot inducing Arming Eritrea, Synthesizer heavy Throwing Bricks At Trains and Wrigley Scott. To re-inforce the pop-centre of the show the crowd were fantastic, with huge choruses of voices singing along, especially lines like “Roll On, Roll On, Roll On” on adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood. Hearing the whole venue sing, “Colin is a pussy, A very pretty pussy,” along to Manchasm is a great Rock moment that would please anyone, except perhaps if you were happened to be called Colin.
Already a set full of great songs, they surprised the whole crowd by blasting into the classic Mclusky tune, Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues. Not happy with just the one Mclusky classic though, they breathlessly followed it up with Collagen Rock and when the crowd started to feel lucky to see FotL play some rare covers, the thumping bass notes of To Hell With Good Intentions ensured the crowd would go mental.
As Falco explained after the mini-Mclusky interlude (all drawn from the Mclusky Do Dallas LP, fact fans), this surprise treat was shrewdly planted to placate fans before the string of new songs that would follow. Joined with a new guitarist to beef up their sound even more, these tunes were pretty decent and maintained that FoTL signature sound, but probably need some fine tuning, plus they were definitely darker more visceral than their last album output as evident on the slow and brooding new song, Destroy Whitchurch.
FotL were a very entertaining band in-between songs also. Despite being pushed for time by the militant venue scheduler they produced some hilarious inter-band slanging matches, Falco’s highly voiced comical opinions on life, the universe and “The Feeling” plus loads of stupid crowd banter including the interactive game “Fact, fiction or Razorlight lyric?”.
It was a gig no one really wanted to end, even (also ex-Mclusky) Jack Egglestone on drums didn’t want it to stop, requiring the bassist to dismantle his kit while he was still playing the end of adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood long after the guitarists had left the stage!
The amazing songcraft, punk-pop oddities, stonking riffing, cracking crowd, bubbling atmosphere and not forgetting McLUSKY!! All made for one for the best show’s I’ve been to in along time!
“It was a gig no one really wanted to end, even (also ex-Mclusky) Jack Egglestone on drums didn’t want it to stop, requiring the bassist to dismantle his kit while he was still playing the end of adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood long after the guitarists had left the stage!”
This is actually a Shellac gimmick, one that Mclusky used to do as well – I think it’s some sort of homage!