There are some gigs that you just know will resonate with you long after it’s all over. Whether it’s the crowd, the atmosphere, the venue or the band itself, you can feel that you’ll be going over those few hours you spent in your head for days to come. Two nights ago I had the distinct pleasure of seeing one my favourite bands, Future of the Left at my favourite Newcastle venue, The Cluny, and I’m doing that right now.

Seeing FotL up close (I’ve only ever seen them on a the big ol’ NME stage at Reading Festival before) was quite unlike anything else I’d ever witnessed on a music stage. I’ve never properly been to a truly up-close-and-personal ‘angry’ gig before, and if there’s one thing that categorises Andy Falkous it’s his anger, and the energy that gives him on stage. Two songs in, he was drenched in sweat and swigging beer so that he could keep screaming his surreal non-sequiturs at us whilst Jack Egglestone kept their powerful drum sound rolling and Kelson ripped his bass to shreds. Each member knows exactly what to do, and how to do it exactly right, and it’s this that makes them as tight a band as they are; never sloppy, never willing to let the energy of ther music take over and push them out of their scarily regimented style. The audience (myself most definitely included) were lapping it up, screaming with joy at every new song, mosh pits forming every time the tempo was stepped up (‘Small Bones, Small Bodies’ and ‘Land of my Formers’ were positively explosive) and chanting lyrics back at Falko like they were (dark, hilarious) nursery rhymes.

But between every few songs they’d stop to breathe and unleash some of the funniest stage banter I’ve seen. The humour that characterises their lyrics is clearly a natural thing as they unceremoniously ripped apart any fan foolish enough to shout song requests and insulted their sound man. Frankly the reason this gig was quite so brilliant is because the band refuse to stop entertaining, even when the songs are over. As a case in point, their final song, the live-only ‘Cloak the Dagger’ was extended to a fifteen minute session of feedback and weird interludes as Falko slowly but surely deconstructed the drum kit and scattered it across the stage while Kelson started playing the Inspector Gadget theme tune and mumbled obscure dance track lyrics. I think this is the secret Future of the Left don’t want to let on – beyond all the audience-baiting insults, fury and general moody persona, they put their heart and soul (and throat in Falko’s case) into every gig and it seems like they just want people to enjoy themselves. Well, mission accomplished guys.

Setlist:

1. Arming Eritrea
2. Chin Music
3. Wrigley Scott (YSI)
4. Small Bones, Small Bodies
5. Plague of Onces
6. Manchasm (YSI)
7. You Need Satan More Than He Needs You
8. Stand By Your Manatee
9. Land Of My Formers
10. Fingers Become Thumbs
11. Yin/Post Yin
12. My Gymnastic Past
13. Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood
Encore
14. The Hope That House Built
15. Cloak the Dagger

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