Future of the Left careered into Liverpool on the back of yet another fantastic record. Getintothis’ Joseph Viney endured comments of Ralph, heavy metal elevator trouble and willful audience abuse.
Search for Future of the Left (FotL) online and a few minutes clicking will lead you towards any number of sites and social media feeds declaring their undying love for and total dedication towards a group that are the musical equivalent of a klaxon at a funeral; perhaps a little too much but overall, probably the best thing for everyone.
So when you hear of gigs in Manchester being downgraded (Gorilla to Soup Kitchen) and your network tells you that tonight’s gig had entertained the notion of moving from EVAC to Shipping Forecast, you wonder just what the fuck is happening.
Given that news, it was heartening to see EVAC’s loft a little more filled out than we had come to expect. Poor weather and a week night can act as gig goer kryptonite, but in this instance it provided something of a fitting backdrop for FotL.
In a world of shit, they are the flushing mechanism. Leader Andrew ‘Falco’ Falkous is the honey badger of rock; not the biggest beast out there but my word you do not want to get on his bad side.
Known for his short fuse and Gobi Desert dry wit, it’s not long before his ire is directed at one crowd member in particular. It’s all justified however, as the audience member in question is slapping about the gaff like a braindead seal, shouting unfunny non-sequiturs towards a very non-plussed group.
“We’ll call you Ralph…because you look like a Ralph” remarks Falco, somewhat witheringly. It might not be the worst insult in history, but in the parallel dimension occupied by FotL it could well be the worst thing ever.
And it’s that parallel dimension, the tumultous and entropic space this band inhabit, that makes them such an enticing proposition.
Touring in support of new LP How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident (via PledgeMusic), they show no signs of slowing down and joining us ‘orrible lot back on Earth.
Newer songs such as Future Child Embarrassment Matrix and Bread, Cheese, Bow and Arrow target and swing towards you like a wrecking ball through a children’s birthday party
FotL’s Julia Ruzicka in action at East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
Older but no less welcome trips through Arming Eritrea, Small Bones, Small Bodies, the relentless Beneath The Waves of an Ocean and the hilarious-if-it-wasn’t-so-horribly-true Robocop 4 – Fuck Off Robocop are strong displays of strength from a group who have a startlingly excellent discography behind them.
Falco took to the keyboards for Manchasm and so invoked the line of night; “Fans of Metallica might not know this noise. No, it’s not Kirk Hammett trapped in an elevator…it’s a keyboard“.
More than anybody else, FotL display a paradoxical spirit of antagonism and defensiveness. Theirs isn’t a secret club, but they probably wouldn’t let you join anyway.
A bruising, extended finale sorted the wheat from the chaff. Verging on what would probably be dubbed ‘Guantanomo rock’, FotL sought to bully their audience into submission with sound.
A careering meltdown of a take on mclusky’s classic Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues gave way to what was, in essence, twenty minutes of white noise, drum kit destruction and general contempt for anything that has ever existed.
Second guitarist, bassist and general mascot and utility man Jimmy Watkins terrorised the crowd throughout.
Grabbing duct tape and a beer bottle, he made his way into the crowd, snared an innocent victim, stuck the bottle upright on his forehead and tipped our man, beer contents and all, onto the prone, horizontal body of another gig-goer.
Audience abuse, it’s the new thing.
Just when you think you can’t take the pain anymore, they stop and they’re off. We snap back to reality in time to see two of the band shifting merch and dealing with well-wishers and other distractions. It’s a little disconcerting to see somebody’s Jekyll and Hyde moments in such clarity, but then that’s about the best summation of FotL tonight.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Liz Phillips.
Further reading on Getintothis:
Liverpool’s gig calendar 2013: Guide to essential gigs not to miss the rest of this year
Liverpool Sound City day two review feat. Future of the Left
Dinosaur Jr, Kult Country: East Village Arts Club, Liverpool