This was the first time I’d seen these Cardiff-based hardcore comedy geniuses. They then became one of the must-see bands for me.
Date: January 21, 2010
Venue: Bodega Social
Not only are Future of the Left the best alternative rock band to come out of Wales, they’re also a dab hand at stand-up comedy, too.
So much so that fellow Welsh funnyman Rhod Gilbert will be studiously sifting through his notebook of gags to see if any are missing.
Between each song we’re treated to bouts of articulate, quick-witted quips and improvised sketches from the band’s three members, particularly singer/guitarist Andy Falkous and singer/bassist Kelson Mathias, who orchestrate the banter.
It’s so amusing that the crowd is torn between what they want to hear most: biting wit in a Welsh accent, or biting punk with a vociferous snarl.
Joyously, the latter is also ace. FOTL are an amalgam of Cardiff’s finest – and now sadly defunct – alternative bands Mclusky and Jarcrew, and as good as those bands were, combining their assets to form this nefarious new beast was a monumentally good decision.
Their specialty is succinct, barbed punk rock jolts embellished with a playful display of lyrical deftness.
“Colin is a pussy, a very pretty pussy”, Falkous seethes on crowd-favourite Manchasm, alluding to nothing more than the adoration afforded to his cat, while further evidence of their fun-time punk-rock can be found lurking beneath his snarling voice on almost every song.
But don’t be fooled by all this joviality: FOTL are no Goldie Lookin’ Chain or comedy pastiche. Their music’s DNA is made up of serious, ferocious and malevolent balls-out punk-rock, and it’s more lethal than the bite of a venomous snake.
Elsewhere, The Hope That House Built is a regimented glam-stomp chug-along containing the repeated mantra “in the end, everybody wins”. And as the gig comes to an end with Mathias clambering onto the bar, never missing a note from his throttled bass and pulling himself a beer, the squalling crescendo of noise envelops the Bodega and they were right: in the end, everyone’s a winner.