Future Of The Left, Fighting With Wire, Gindrinker
Edmund Townend 12/08/2008
Future of the Left originate from Cardiff, so you'd think that their Clwb Ifor Bach gig would bring a strong crowd. You'd be right. Formed from the ashes of Mclusky and Jarcrew, two prominent and iconic South Wales bands in their own right, they bring triumph to the locals like a winning football team back from cup glory (ouch, too soon Bluebirds?).
Mentions of South Ossetia in a song 'written yesterday' bring prolific politics to Gindrinker's set from the start but whether the fruit wanted in their song Greengrocer refers to failed political fruits is to be decided. An attempt to be surreally witty and a singer resembling Bob Fossil of The Mighty Boosh leaves the seriousness of the act in doubt. Overdriven guitar with interchanging brass and vocals leave a gap in musical presence and creativity, but a command of the stage from both marauding guitarist and wildly gesturing singer make up the stage presence. Also a well-constructed and composed backing fills in gaps, with mainly repetitive rhythms leaving the wonder that there might be structure in the rambling, raving lyrics. While some of the surreal references and jokes provoke laughter, it's a bit too odd for the audience and the overall feel is weird but wearing.
Fighting With Wire hail from Derry, Northern Ireland 'Celtic brethren' with those in Cardiff and Future of The Left. The three piece are basic crunch guitar, bass and drums with an incredibly loud sound for a three piece. The combination of the screeching lyrics and recognisable chords bring to mind Lostprophets and their spin off bands. The more complicated parts are played quickly between verses and fantastic noise echoes At The Drive-In and other post-hardcore outfits. Their path to the mainstream is clear as, unlike the chaos of At The Drive-In's, performances, Fighting With Wire are restrained in both sound and movement. The bass is full and powerful against a single guitar making for a restrained yet accessible sound, but there isn't enough to make them shine through as exceptional.
Although in the early days of Future of the Left a pseudonym was used to dissuade Mclusky and Jarcrew fans, it seems that the heritage of both bands follow the new one to popularity. Maybe the promise of live recording brought an air of immortalization, and the gig was packed with fans and contemporaries alike. Spotted in the crowd amongst others were members of Cardiff twinkly-rock group Silence at Sea and recently disbanded Welsh underground metal icons Midasuno.
Future of the Left ease into their set with Wrigley Scott, shouty, scuzzy and punchy, as is their specialty. Although their previous bands may have been big in Wales, Future of the Left are staking further mainstream success due to their precision and well-constructed messy noise combined. It is the imbalance of their music that makes them popular, against the grain of the norm of the rest of the shock-noise genre. The power of their set is not calculated, it is unleashed. With every chord, drum hit and lyric, more and more noise is inflicted, nay, bestowed grudgingly upon the listener as though it's not meant for them. It's a powerful representation of angst coupled with hilarity on tracks like Manchasm. Such is the diversity of noise from Future of the Left that the same feeling can be drawn even without guitar, but on keyboards. Some new songs are also revealed including the mysteriously dubbed v d f a on the set list. Could we see a new album to follow their debut Curses? And curse they do in songs like F*ck the Countryside Alliance as well as in a little banter (attacking the musical knowledge of one critic wearing a Tool shirt) between songs. Their joviality with the home crowd even stretches bassist Kelson to participate in the crowd's dancing.
The Cardiff trio certainly outstretched expectations in the face of the fate of the two failed bands before. They finish
with adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood and even return for an encore of Cloak the Dagger. Noisy and outspoken, Future of the Left go against the grain, and hopefully will continue to do so.
Photo by Stellar Spontaneous Photography