Show Review: Future Of The Left, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Joy Formidable @ Clwb Ifor Bach, 25/05/09.

Flyer

This night almost didn’t happen. My buddy Matt phoned just as I was leaving telling me the gig was sold out, which didn’t really surprise me considering the following that FOTL have. I went down anyway and we managed to get ourselves on the guestlist, in exchange for taking some equipment in that we didn’t ever end up doing.

With the money we saved, we went to the bar next door and got a few drinks before going in to catch The Joy Formidable, who I was pretty impressed by. Although I had never listened to this lot before, I had heard numerous comparisons to bands like Sky Larkin, which I would definitely agree with. The Joy Formidable play uptempo indie rock pop songs that seem to soar and soar before ending as quickly as they begin. Some might argue that they’re a bit one dimensional but I thoroughly enjoyed their set.

The Joy Formidable

We then moved downstairs to see a band I’ve been following for a while without ever really getting into. Pulled Apart By Horses are a hardcore band from Leeds who I have always thought might have taken their name from the Radiohead song now known as ‘Reckoner’, someone might have to confirm this to me though. Regardless of the origins of the name, I was not disappointed by this band, who were absolutely incredible. Even with the lack of a stage, Pulled Apart By Horses play with such energy that it’s impossible not to get sucked in to the atmosphere that they create, seriously, these guys laugh in the face of health and safety and spent a decent amount of the set flailing about the crowd, standing on chairs and climbing up the walls, all whilst creating a truly impressive amount of noise. The band are clearly all pretty proficient musicians, yet avoid the pitfall of many similar bands who prioritise shredding over actual music. Instead, PABH manage to infuse their technical playing with awesome songs. Expect to see some in a future post.

Pulled Apart By Horses

And there’s me looking pretty impressed and wearing red.

We went out for a quick smoke before moving back upstairs to see the headliners Future Of The Left. Being a massive Mclusky fan, I have followed this lot since their inception but had never seen them live so I was really excited for their set. The club was as full as I’ve ever seen it and their was a real sense of expectation as the band took to the stage.

Future Of The Left

The band opened with a visceral Arming Erirtrea and then went on to play a ridiculously energetic set of material from both Curses and the new record. The raw passion that they play with is mindblowing and the crowd duly responded. I have often read how much the band hates people downloading their music and this was confirmed when Andy sneered “You people must have been downloading” when everyone went apeshit for the new songs, which I thought was a bit of a silly comment to make. Clearly the crowd was made up of pretty dedicated fans, and I personally don’t understand how bands can complain that a few people are downloading their music if they are also playing to sold out crowds who are clearly having a great time. Each to their own i guess.

Future Of The Left

I’ve read on numerous forums about the band’s crowd interaction and they were on top form, even going as far as handing out apples to the audience and stealing some guy’s hip flask and threatening to hand it the bouncer. They played for at least an hour and ended their set with a chaotic semi stage invasion that was quickly prevented by the bouncers before the band left the stage and wasted no time in climbing about the ceiling and inviting the crowd to play drums at the front of the stage.

Future Of The Left

All in all, this was a show that I am incredibly glad I ended up going to. It’s quite rare that I go to a show and come away genuinely impressed with all the bands I see play but this was definitely true for this show. I remember sitting outside the venue when Future Of The Left had finished pretty much speechless at the sheer intensity of their show. If you ever get the chance to see these guys, then seriously, you have to fucking go.

P.S. I would put up a Future Of The Left album, but as mentioned, the band hates people sharing their work.

The Joy Formidable Myspace
Pulled Apart By Horses Myspace
Future Of The Left Myspace

All the photos are from here.

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