There was a good turnout in this antiquated, yet homely and welcoming, venue to see a very strong line up. Earlier in the day The Wytches had posted a picture of the venue on social media comparing it to Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights.
The Wytches looked incredibly young but their set combined youthful exuberance and a certain level of composure and creative maturity to great effect. The quieter segments of each track had hints of The Smashing Pumpkins and The Pixies before launching into passionate tirades of screaming and frantic guitars. Their songs sprung from sullen to energetic and back again reminiscent of the early The White Stripes material. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed their set and it warmed them up perfectly for the headline act.
You would never expect Future Of The Left to ease an audience in gently and they certainly didn’t, opening with ‘Arming Eritrea’. Lead singer Falco clearly didn’t need warming up either as his vocals were exactly the same as on their recordings throughout his vocal range. They started off incredibly loud, in a good way, and got louder as the gig progressed. The bass was thunderous shaking the whole room, especially during the early part of the set where they had two bass guitars playing at once.
As a unit they were incredibly tight which is especially impressive given the intricacy of some of the guitar and bass parts , and the stuttering nature of some of their material. Even when the stand-in drummer, their drummer was at the birth of his child, faked a one beat count-in they weren’t even slightly thrown out. During ‘Future Child Embarrassment Matrix’ their talent was in evidence as the ferocious bass and guitar riffs were knocked out in perfect synchronicity even as their fingers were almost a blur. Future Of The Left could easily be dismissed as just angry and noisy but the noise they create is laden with talent and creativity. Falco, Jimmy Watkins and Julia Ruzicka are all multi-instrumentalists and each one is accomplished at which ever instrument they perform with during the set. Falco’s vocals were flawless and gripping whether he was playing guitar or keyboard it didn’t seem to alter his performance in any way. Julia also switched from a mesmeric bassist to keys with effortless ease and Jimmy was fantastic on both bass and guitar. Their talent is undoubted but pleasingly they also displayed a huge amount of pride in their work and they seemed to derive great pleasure from expressing themselves on stage.
They closed their set with a fifteen minute rendition of ‘Lapsed Catholics’ which was a real treat for the fans. With the sheer energy and passion evident in Falco’s vocals during this final song it is a wonder his voice lasts a whole tour. They finished on a long drawn-out ending which gave the impression the band were just jamming together and having a great amount of fun expressing themselves. During this final flourish Falco began to dismantle the drummer’s kit and moved it around the room until he was left with just the snare which he dragged into the audience and left him playing it amongst the fans.