Monday, November 16, 2009

T.T. the Bear’s: Future of the Left

Anyone who has read this blog within the last few months will know that I absolutely love Future of the Left's latest album Travels with Myself and Another. I wrote the review for the aforementioned album back in June and it still hasn't lost any of its charm. That's why I jumped at the chance to hear the material live at T.T. The Bear's Place in Cambridge, MA on November 1, 2009. Since the band is coming all the way from the UK, it was quite the treat to see them in such an intimate venue. With the anticipation for the show on high, the band did not let down in the slightest.

The group took the stage and appeared like a couple of ordinary guys from Wales; however, by the end of the set, you knew they were anything but. Singer Andy Falkous began with the cries of "C'mon, Rick, I'm not a prize. I'm not a cynic or one of those guys." from Travels standout "Arming Eritrea". The jagged pulse set the tone for the performance: very fast and very loud. "Small Bones Small Bodies" from their equally impressive debut Curses sounded nothing short of tremendous reverberating through the small club. A short breather came during the "roll on" vocal intro to "Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood" before abruptly returning to breakneck speed. There was plenty of the witty banter and lively dialogue that you would expect from listening to their lyrics. It was like getting a bonus comedy show for being in attendance. At one point after a lengthy and hilarious exchange with the audience, they showed their sleight-of-hand by revealing how no one noticed that they managed to tune their instruments while all the talking was going on.

Kelson Mathias's thunderous bass lines perfectly complimented Jack Egglestone's inspiring rhythmic beats and gave the tunes a danceable thump. "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You" exhibited this while displaying one of the best grooves you have ever heard among some of the most uncompromising lyrics. This was followed by old favorite "Manchasm" and its pleas of "Audience, please! Every minute matters!" The lyric seems much more appropriate live when you can really feel the aggression in Falkous's voice. During many of these songs, Mathias and Falkous switched instrument duties to gain the appropriate sound. The night ended with the band dismantling their setup and Mathias walking into the crowd with his bass. He proceeded to hand it to an audience member while he climbed the monitor stacks on the side of the stage. It was an appropriately menacing way to cap off the night. In all, Future of the Left provide one of the more thoroughly entertaining performances you could witness. I highly recommend checking them out if you get the opportunity. Also, make sure to watch their video for "Arming Eritrea" below which features some excellent live footage.

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