Arriving as Brat Farrar were finishing up the first of two sets they would play on the evening it was a little disappointing to see The Corner Hotel so bare. Regardless, the three boys took no notice and played with everything they had, obviously quite happy and humbled to be playing alongside a band of Future of The Left’s caliber.
One of Melbourne’s (via Tasmania) best kept secrets in The Nation Blue came next and literally melted faces. I don’t think the crowd at The Corner knew what to expect. With bass player Matt Weston sporting a Chuck Norris shirt it could only suggest that the set was going to be a punch in the face and it certainly was.
Playing tracks from their AIR Award winning album Rising Waters as well as their impressive back catalogue The Nation Blue powered through their set pulling out all stops to win over the more elderly crowd. It was no surprise to see vocalist/guitarist Tom Lyngcoln throw himself and his guitar across the stage as he lost himself in his playing; oblivious to the hundreds of punters who had by this stage had made their way in from the front bar to watch him.
Brat Farrar then played they're second set to a much fuller audience than the first and it seemed they were really getting into it more than the first time around. In the 20 odd minutes they occupied the side stage I counted at least 9 songs being played. Clearly not wanting to waste a single second the only time they spoke was to give a quick thank you while tuning up for the next number.
The young Melbourne band were very composed throughout their set (perhaps one of the biggest they’ve played) and played with the confidence and expertise of a band several years their senior, clearly a fresh bunch of talent only waiting to bust out.
“Come on Rick!”, erupted The Corner Hotel as Future of The Left launched into Arming Eritrea after spending far too long behind the curtain teasing the capacity crowd. No strangers to our shores the quartet from Cardiff have been here several times, often leaving the cold Wales winter for a warm summer ‘holiday’ over here. Touring as part of almost every major summer circuit along the way.
With no (substantial) new material released since their last tour the set list was always going to be a little up in the air. It was good though to see the band play an even mix of songs from both their albums as well as a few (very appreciated) Mclusky tracks. Notable standouts included Failed Olympic Bid, Chin Music, and the fantastically titled Robocop 4: Fuck Off Robocop.
Not only did Future of The Left deliver in terms of musicianship, but Andy ‘Falco’ Falkous also kept everyone entertained between songs with his banter. Whether it be trashing the Australian cricket team or complaining about how twice previously while touring here his keyboard wouldn’t work (“how can a keyboard overheat… in Australia! What even is that?). Taking a moment to stretch the tension before testing it. Luckily however, third times a charm and the keyboard went off without a hitch.
One of the more unusual between song banter came in the form of an auction as Falco announced that they would be selling copy number 1 of the three song demo/EP they had recorded a few days earlier. Bidding turned into a bit of a fiasco and some lucky punter got the rarity for a steal at $20. Announcing that they hadn’t quite learnt the song and lyrics yet the foursome then debuted Chastity Drive off the CD. A short song that has all the energy the band is known for.
One of the highlights of the evening came with the final song Lapsed Catholics. As the band continued to jam out the end of the song they invited audience members on stage who then took it upon themselves to join in. Meanwhile, Falco began to move the drum kit piece by piece to the front of stage. Taking a moment to tease Jack Egglestone with each part before shifting them; often the piece he was playing at that particular moment. And with the audience onstage playing away each of the band members took turns giving a final wave before heading off themselves. No encore was to be played but not a single person could complain. Future of The Left put on a fantastic show and quite frankly, nothing could have topped what they had already done.