Future Of The Left, Pulled Apart By Horses, Three Trapped Tigers, British Sea Power
Steven Morgan 17/09/2010
Sometimes you can stand in a crowd in an atmosphere that should be right up your street yet you just aren't feeling it, you're just not into it. Even the surprise addition of Pulled Apart By Horses to the bill should at the very least have had me quaking with excitement. Alas a combination of too many nights on the trot and the intense effect when you go out with just one other person and end up having deep and meaningful conversations rather than merely blowing off some steam meant that despite my best intentions, I did not make the most of this phenomenal line up.
Another casualty of the cursed new Xoyo venue where this event was supposed to be held, the late relocation to Electrowerkz was fortunate considering this was a multi room event. As we arrived supposedly half way through the first DJ set, most rooms were still closed off and under preparation, it dawned on us that the time schedules may be optimistic at best, so to the bar it was.
It was here that we whiled away the time chatting about women, ageing and the futile existence of our lives drinking £3 cans of Red Stripe whilst awaiting the second room to open ready for Future Of The Left to blow us away. A little earlier on the bill for them than would be ideal, but nonetheless, their playing that was why I was here in the first place.
As FOTL's stage time approached, we casually made our way to where they were playing, to see how behind schedule things were running. As we ascended the stairs, the vitriolic bile of Chin Music bled through the corridor alarming us as we picked up the pace. Excitement levels raised as we were about to step through the double doors when disaster struck.
"No more allowed in, sorry" said my new mortal enemy, the bouncer.
A bad atmosphere cut through those now stranded on the stairs as people shuffled around accusing each other of pushing in front to try and get in (I was one of the accusers). Eventually after much professional looking walky talky button pressing, the bouncer pointed out that there was another entrance to the room that required going right around the venue which was apparently still letting people in. Untrusting of this information, thinking it was just a way to disperse an angry crowd, the people complained that they'd lose their place at the front of the line for an empty promise. As the tensions rose, the doors opened as someone left the room giving me a sight of the stage. "Look, a woman" I exclaimed whilst pointing at the band, by reflex, not thinking of what I sounded like. In my defence, I was actually commenting on an evident change in line up with Steven Hodson no longer on temporary bass duties and the fact that to date this had been an all male band. However I'm sure to those around me I just looked like some sexist pig for whom breaks away from rock band stereotypes were genuine shocks. Embarrassed, I decided this was a good time to go check the other entrance.
Finally we found our way, and true to the bouncers word, we were in with ease as the opening notes of Manchasm kicked in. It was immediately obvious looking out at the sea of static heads that this crowd was fucking lame. Maybe it was the relatively early time in the evening, maybe it was because most people were just waiting for British Sea Power (idiots), but after the FOTL shows at 229 & The Lexington with crowds going absolutely spare, this felt deflating in comparison. The only solution was to make our way to the very front and join the six or seven people who actually seemed to be dancing like idiots, a style I have much experience in. Our timing was perfect as the opening notes to the Mclusky song To Hell With Good Intentions kicked in. The inclusion of Mclusky tracks seem to be regulars for their sets now and I can only assume the choice of songs to resurrect are the ones Jon Chapple had the smallest hand in, pretty much retaining them as property of Andy Falkous. Whatever the motivation, as expected the crowd erupt for the two song Mccombo of that and Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues.
We're treated to a number of new tracks, which make first impressions as being more immediate than tracks of old. Hearing songs live from the first two albums before hearing the finished versions I recall them not blowing me away, though repeated listens resulted in me cherishing the recordings. Future Of The Left's music is so simple, and intense, it could so easily fall on the wrong side of amazing if it weren't for Falco's incredible ability to create such intensity without a note wasted. On the other hand, the next album may just be fucking great in a different way, whatever it is I'm hungry to find out.
The set concluded with the ritual dismantling of the drumkit during a rare live outing of the song Lapsed Catholics which no doubt has more than a little to do with the timing of the Pope's visit to London. "He's on the guestlist" Falco quipped at one point during the trademark inter-song chat with much of it focused on that very subject. It's a relief that new member Jimmy Watkins is a more than suitable successor to Kelson Mathias to bounce off Falco with witty and cutting conversation between songs.
Alas, not long after the set concluded is where my evening at Rockfeedback X ended. Deflated, exhausted and strangely bewildered, it's a tragedy that we missed the incredible Three Trapped Tigers and Pulled Apart By Horses. Alas that's just the way these things turn out sometimes. Instead we ended up going to The Lexington to continue drinking rather than go home or stick around for more ace music, both of which would have been more sensible. Looking back now, I wonder why we did leave, but being the stubborn, moody bastard that I am, I'm sure I had unfaultable logic at the time.