Future of the Left – Broadcast 2/11/13

A queue stretches right across the upstairs bar at Broadcast for entry to the venue below and tonight’s entertainment: Future of the Left’s glorious return to Glasgow. The dingy basement is ripe with a palpable anticipation of what’s to come, although we must first deal with opening act The Wytches.

Something of a buzz-band at the moment, The Wytches tout the kind of lanky, long-haired, oversized shirt-wearing, limbs-flailing, screaming and swaying post-grunge image that so often promises more than it can deliver. Spaghetti western style guitar lines sit conspicuously between thrashy drums and whiney, wailing vocals. The style rather pathetically evokes the opening theme to Black Books, and can accurately be described as Hank Marvin being brutally violated by Nirvana. It’s not a particularly pleasant experience. The occasional chunky mess of riff hints at redemption, but the crowd remains divided; with a handful of nodding heads countered with a few cat-calls and unfavourable impressions of the singer’s whiney tones.

Future of the Left, on the other hand, come into the spotlight to the appreciation of a room packed with diehard followers who’ve been poised menacingly for the band’s reappearance in Glasgow. The atmosphere is electric, and the opening haymaker of ‘Arming Eritrea’ followed by sucker punch of ‘Small Bones, Small Bodies’ send the place into a frenzy. The line up may have changed since these songs were released, but the band’s mission statement is still exactly the same, and new material proves just as popular as the set progresses.

Frontman Andy Falkous is on fine form, delivering the blistering tirade of vitriol that is ‘Robocop 4 – Fuck Off Robocop’ with pinpoint precision. His trademark sharpened wit is also in abundance as he dedicates ‘You Need Satan More Than He Needs You’ to Phil Collins and explains that ‘if the keyboard was working I wouldn’t be talking to you cunts’. (When the keyboard finally starts working, ‘Manchasm’ is yet another highlight).

The set closes with the glorious noise-fest of ‘Lapsed Catholics’ followed by ‘Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood’ and topped off with McClusky classic ‘Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues’. The glee with which the band’s thundering and socially conscious noise-rock is executed makes this a deeply satisfying baptism of fire at the hands of a group who have just proven they’re still one of Britain’s best.

[Ali Begg]

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