Live review: Future of the Left, The Wytches at Broadcast, 2/11/13

future of the left-0174“On record this song has a long and winding introduction about Margaret Thatcher” grins Andy Falkous, “as you might guess it gets a better response the further north we go” and with that his band launch into the brutally effective hardcore of ‘Robocop 4 – Fuck Robocop’.

Lyrics like “releasing Billy Corgan from his role as the titular characters nemesis” seem a deliberate ‘fuck you’ to scansion but the audience shout along regardless.

First though Brighton rockers The Wytches treat us to a short set, combining surf-rock/spaghetti western guitar fills and angsty J Mascis guitar, they make a hell of a racket but some crucial element is missing.

Noise should always be leavened by melody or wit and The Wytches seem to bring neither, bar the darkly atmospheric ‘Digsaw’, their songs lurch formlessly, like Pavement without half the charm.

While The Wytches’ influences are all fairly conventional, characterising the frothing ferocity of Future of the Left is a far more daunting task; calling them punk-rock is like calling System of a Down a metal band, on some level there are similarities but it really doesn’t tell the whole story.

Ex-Mclusky frontman Andy Falkous has spent the past four records making a name for himself as the fiery, darkly funny mastermind behind the group, a journey that has finally come to fulfilment with the recent release of their new album How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident.

Nodding to the likes of Fugazi and Butthole Surfers, the new tracks are as catchy and effective as anything in the group’s tightly drilled set.

future of the left-0196

Julia Ruzicka’s custom bass rumbles like a Soviet tank rolling through a village, while Jimmy Watkins on guitar gives the four-piece an extra versatility that their former incarnations lacked.

Tracks like ‘You Need Satan More Than He Needs You’ and ‘How to Spot a Record Company’ brim with coruscating rage but Falkous seems on good form; getting the crowd to chant “keyboard, keyboard” as a roadie scrambles to fix a broken connection and even stopping a song so that one unfortunate fan can find their glasses.

Industrial synthesizer almost renders the group danceable on the frenetic ‘Manchasm’ before Falkous picks up another bass for a bottom-end heavy instrumental dual.

Ending with a cover of Mclusky’s ferocious and fantastically titled ‘Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues’ the group once again amply demonstrate why they are one of the UK’s best-loved cult bands.

more photos

Words: Max Sefton

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