Our latest Sheffield show promises to be a corker. That new FOTL album is so, so good.
Future Of The Left
It is neither good nor healthy to tease through the bones of the past, but for the edification of future generations, we must. Future Of The Left were composed from two thirds of the defunct Cardiff rock band mclusky, singer/guitarist Andy Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone, and one-fifth of Ammanford rock band Jarcrew, wild-eyed frontman Kelson Louis Matthias. Both bands shared a mutual admiration; both bands bit the dust in their own special way. Jarcrew released one record, got lost in their confusing maze of great ideas, and finally disintegrated shortly after their drummer decided he wanted to spend more time following Jehovah. mclusky made three albums before falling to pieces in largely acrimonious circumstances, the gory details of which the curious can doubtless find recounted somewhere other than here.
Like one of Planet Earth’s great mammals, the group that eventually became FOTL were some time in the gestation. It began just as Andy and Jack, chiselling out new directions in Cardiff. For a while they were four, rehearsing with Hywel Evans (who then formed math-rockers Truckers of Husk). “It definitely took a while for us to get a sound together, but the writing process got a lot easier when we got back down to three. Everything came together when we wrote The Lord Hates A Coward, but we’d been writing for over a year then. That song really set a standard for the rest.” Kelson’s weapon of choice was bass - not an instrument he played, necessarily, but then that’s not always the FOTL way. “I play a bass like I fronted Jarcrew,” explains Kelson. “Just thinking percussively - sort of Neanderthal, if that doesn’t make me seem more stupid than I appear.” Somewhere along the way, Falco acquired a synthesiser, and the band found a name in a broadsheet. Finally, they made an album - Curses.
Curses was not a drat, a damn, a bugger, or a shit, nor was it an oath to be tossed out idly. It did not take the names of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha or Lord Xenu in vain. No, Curses was a spell, a summoning. Fourteen pocket-sized, acidic incantations that tripped off the tongue, scattering all manner of charms, jinxes and hexes around. Recorded across three weekends in Newport, it was an altogether broader, more devious, more detailed record than anything that came before, with songs about cats, Tories and the skeletons of tiny children lurking. Guitars jerked and sparked like cattle prods; basslines impacted like a deft flurry of feet; drums marched, bounded and turned on the head of a platinum pin; two heads sprung from the same neck and thrashed a collective mane, screaming as they hurtled round the Moebius curve of some lyrical enigma. And all of this on a single, gleaming, debut CD. A CD, moreover, acclaimed as “anthemic genius” and “one of the albums of the year” (those bastions Kerrang! and NME respectively).
“It’s about something more than three guys coming onstage and yelling ‘Rock!’ down the microphone. There can be a fuller, rounder, slightly funny picture to it”, says Falco. “Miles ahead of the post-hardcore pack”, says Uncut. In short, Future Of The Left can be found further trying to stretch and bend the boundaries of what a rock band should be. And with a second album upcoming, this particular future promises much.
Pulled Apart By Horses
+ DJs: DrownedinSound / Tender Maulings
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Jacks Records (Division Street, Sheffield)
The Harley (Glossop Road, Sheffield)