A unexpected but very welcome return for the always underrated Mclusky, Getintothis’ Steven Doherty rolls back the years.
In the pre-Spotify years, there was no previewing an album to see whether you liked it or the band, if you’d never heard them.
The only way was to actually buy it and take a tenners worth of a chance, hoping it was any good.
So, after some favourable reviews back in 2002, this writer bought Mclusky’s second album Mclusky Do Dallas without ever hearing a note from them before.
It turned out to be one of the best tenners I’ve ever spent.
After splitting acrimoniously back in 2005, Mclusky are back.
Well, very much kind of, hence the asterisk showing that there is some difference from the old days.
Tonight’s line up is by no means the original, lead singer Falco, taking a hiatus from his main project, the always excellent Future of the Left, is the only founding member.
Joined by The St Pierre Snake Invasion’s Damien Sayell and Jack Egglestone, Mclusky’s drummer from 2003 to their first demise, this is a nostalgic run through which claims to be just that, the past and nothing else.
But first tonight, very much the future.
JOHN, who are made up of two blokes named John (very much hence the name) and their mission is to make some noise.
Due to 6 Music play-listing of their latest single Future Thinker, as well as a recently announced tour which is in the midst of selling out, a large crowd has turned up early to see what the fuss is about.
JOHN are keen not to waste this opportunity and grab it with both hands.
Confident enough to play Future Thinker third song in and happy to try out new material from their upcoming October released new album Out Here On The Fringes.
An unadulterated joy, of which you will be hearing a lot more of.
9.15 rolls around and the room is now heaving as Mclusky* traipse on stage and start with F*** This Band, the only slow song they play all night.
Falco is resplendent In a “Poundland Shellac” t-shirt (Mclusky were labelled this once in a review), and manages to carry off the role of both a frontman and professional curmudgeon.
He may be in a permanent nark but his songwriting is faultless.
Song after song is welcomed like a soldier returning home from the war. Guitar troubles hold up proceedings but this then leads to a furious Alan Is A Cowboy Killer.
They’ve got more songs than a song convention, and they play all their best ones tonight, no one could be possibly be leaving disappointed from this.
You Should Be Ashamed, Seamus is a monster of a tune, with every note wrung out tonight, and The World Loves Us And Is Our Bitch is played for only the third time ever, complete with one of the JOHN‘s on extra guitar duties.
It’s special, primarily because we don’t know if we are ever going to see this again, Falco has FOTL and solo project Christian Fitness to keep him busy.
That doesn’t stop us thinking the tantalising thought of what new Mclusky stuff would sound like, with the final devastating couplet of Whoyouknow and To Hell With Good Intentions still ringing in our ears.
If it’s not to be, then we are already looking forward to the next reunion sometime in the 2030’s.
An absolute treat of an evening.