Restless Natives: Future of the Left, Rolo Tomassi, United Fruit at Saint Luke’s, 14/5/16

Tonight, the penultimate night of the inaugural edition of Glasgow’s new music and arts festival Restless Natives, sees a line up befitting the festival’s intended eclectic programme.

Stylistically, the three bands playing at the still relatively recently church-converted venue tonight are fairly diverse, but all three share a similarly noisy and abrasive tone to their respective sounds.

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For local cult heroes United Fruit, tonight is a celebration having finally released their second album, Eternal Return, after a long production and release effort, the band’s first new full-length in five years.

So, understandably tonight’s set draws largely from this newly released material, which has seen the band emerge from their hiatus with a more mature songwriting approach, coupled with a soaring, uplifting sound.

They are easily the most melodic act of the night, as new songs ‘Nightmare Recovery’ and ‘Taste I Can’t Give Up’ show, but all the while retaining frontman Iskander Stewart’s trademark cynical snarl.

The band seem visibly relieved to finally be playing live again, knowing the “new” material is finally out there for fans to start enjoying on their own, with the crowd’s appreciative bobbed heads and occasionally mouthed words as testament.

UF still get time to slip in a couple old fan favourites, however, ripping through Fault Lines singles ‘Go Away, Don’t Leave Me Alone’ and closing an impressive set with on ‘Red Letter’.

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Rolo Tomassi, however, is by far the noisiest and most chaotic act of the night.

Having just last year reached their tenth year of existence, Tomassi show no signs of slowing down or softening their unpredictable, explosive sound.

While the majority of the band has changed members over the years, lead vocals and brother-sister act Eva and James Spence are still as enchanting and ferocious as a double act one could expect.

While the rest of the band may have changed, the accompanying band still play with incredible precision, which the band’s still strong audience are clearly not bored of seeing over and over, and it is quite startling to see an act still be just as heavy as when they started.

Future of the Left, another band who recently hit the decade mark, close the night with their traditionally twisted and cynical mirth.

After a recent couple of reformed Mclusky shows Andrew Falkous is in a nostalgic mood, treating us to covers of ‘To Hell with Good Intentions’, ‘Gareth Brown Says’ and ‘Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues’, the former beginning in a rage after a failed attempt at setting up a synthesiser on stage.

As far as their own material goes, the band rip through their willfully obtuse back catalogue playing for an hour and half, but largely feature tracks from recent album The Peace and Truce of…, the band’s fifth full length.

There is no denying the band’s gifted, prolific songwriter Falco, as he storms through his witty and pointed observational songs, all the while his band (featuring ex-Million Dead bassist Julia Ruzicka) keep things chugging along to the pleasure of the, by now sun and beer filled, crowd.

So, despite a diverse line up, tonight is a total success and one hopes Restless Natives will be back again next year to build on a really impressive and exciting week.

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Words: Adam Turner-Heffer
Photos: Ann-Christin Heinrich

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