Tag Archives: Future of the Left

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

Future of the Left, Blacklisters, United Fruit at Mono, 1/10/14

An institution not impervious to pretence, the greatest extravagance on display at Mono for this three band bill is a keyboard; this is a rock show.

Local post-hardcore ruffians United Fruit take the stage to little fanfare,  mid-week malaise seemed to be running strong, but this proved no deterrent as ‘Taste I Can’t Give Up’ and ‘Go Away Don’t Leave Me Alone’ are delivered with the furious enthusiasm of a band with home advantage.

Despite a troublingly diminutive PA, subdued passages ring out and the cacophonic climax of ‘Red Letter’ is as furious as ever and although new song ‘Open Your Eyes’ isn’t aired, an as-yet-unnamed album is imminent as is a UK wide tour.
In contrast to the endearingly earnest openers, Blacklisters follow with something altogether more hostile, reminiscent of Daughters at their most atonal, drums and bass lurch and pummel in equal measure as the guitarist oscillates between Shellac style caveman riffs and sea-sick dissonance.

Frontman Billy Mason Woods ‘Yowd’ it up, to the crowd’s total indifference, with dance moves of the Buffalo Bill variety.

Although lacking the live fervour of Brew Records companions Kong, their set hints at the live experience they could be, and presumably are, under the right conditions, tonight, however, belongs to headliners Future of the Left.

Although the first night of a brief UK tour, from the clattering drums of ‘Kept by Bees’ to the searing feedback and ritual drum kit dismantling that so emphatically closes the set, they are captivating.

Andrew ‘Falco’ Falkous, flanked by Art Brut guitarist Ian Catskilkin, bassist Julia Ruzika and drummer Jack Egglestone, initially eschews audience interaction in favour of powering through muscular live favourites ‘Arming Eritrea’, ‘Bread, Cheese, Bow and Arrow’ and ‘Small Bones Small Bodies’, for a band “not as active as they’d like to be,” everything seems to work triumphantly in their favour tonight.

A broken string seconds into pre-FOTL Mclusky’s ‘Gareth Brown Says’ results in a brief guitar change and a hilarious digression on mishaps, Raiders of the Lost Ark trivia and Glaswegian elocution,  consequently the crowd are treated to the delightfully profane opening line (strong contender for the best ever) twice. TWICE!
All albums are equally represented, although material from  last year’s How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident, crowdfunded and released through their own Prescriptions label, is rapturously received, a mosh pit briefly erupting for ‘She Gets Passed Around at Parties’.

One of the best rhythm section pairings in recent years, Ruzika and Egglestone carry the show on bass and drum heavy numbers like ‘How to Spot a Record Company’ and ‘Beneath the Waves an Ocean’ is pure Orange amplifier burl and Totally Wired-era Fall drumming.
Confined to touring when schedules align, there’s a palpable sense of onstage enjoyment, the band are all smiles with each other and Falco screams with the gusto and conviction of a man unconcerned with preserving his voice for the remaining seven or so shows.

There is no encore, instead, they launch immediately into a 10-minute plus amalgamation of ‘French Lessons’, ‘Lapsed Catholics’, ‘Singing of the Bonesaws’ and Mclusky anthem ‘Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues’, it’s unfathomably precise, sweaty, conclusive and the band leave the equipment strewn stage to Van Halen’s ‘Ain’t Talking ‘bout Love.’

Judging by the audience chatter on the way out, there couldn’t have been a less apt song.

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Words: Gethin Bowen
Photos: Michael Gallcher