REVIEW: Future Of The Left, The Cluny, Newcastle

Future of The Left
Future of The Left

Although they’re based in Cardiff, visits to Newcastle represent something of a homecoming for Future Of The Left’s Andy Falkous.

The frontman – whose wit and snarky outlook drive one of Britain’s most entertaining guitar acts – is, in fact, a native Geordie, and has spoken before of his and his bandmates’ penchant for performing at The Cluny.

It was appropriate then, that their latest tour wound up calling at Ouseburn, after sensibly being switched from the rather less suitable Riverside.

Certainly, a small, crowded room is preferable to a large, spacious one; particularly for a group with such a tight, compact sound.

Existing at a junction between punk and post-hardcore, FOTL’s sound has evolved album-on-album, but remains built on bludgeoning riffs and the perpetual thud of Julia Ruzicka’s bass.

Then there’s Falkous; all furrowed brows and throbbing veins, sprinkling satire on each and every rasping, throat-curdling howl.

It’s the perfect mix of punch and hilarity, epitomised by the likes of Small Bones Small Bodies, Robocop 4 and Chin Music, the standouts among a healthy dose of old favourites.

Evidently, I wasn’t the only one still to fully absorb new LP The Peace And True Of Future Of The Left, but its share of tonight’s set proved equally lively.

Eating For None and If AT&T Drank Tea What Would BP Do? in particular were received with plenty of enthusiasm, and look well equipped to survive onto future setlists – a feat only managed by one song, How To Spot A Record Company, from 2014’s How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident.

Earlier, their stage had been warmed by two other excellent Welsh acts, Right Hand Left Hand and St Pierre Snake Invasion.

The former impressed with their angular, mostly-instrumental loops, while latter’s jocular punk was a perfect precursor to Falkous’s serrated tongue.

With a late finish to add to the last-minute switch, tonight’s show was no logistical triumph, yet the sounds on offer ensured it was no less satisfying for that.