NME Awards Show 2008, Astoria, London, February 2008
Fifteen quid, for four bands: Les Savy Fav, Future of The Left, Los Campesinos! and Cut Off Your Hands. Disclaimer: I went to see Future of The Left - I did not give a rat’s about the other three. If there is one guitar band I have loved since I first heard them, it is FoTL. Back in NZ around 2003, Jay had messaged me from London saying he was off to see a band that week, who were awesome… Pixies-level noisy awesome… called mclusky, and I should check them out. Oh, yes. That’ll do nicely. Abrasive, screeching, obnoxiously brilliant music… and yes, the album inquestion was recorded by Steve Albini. After they split, the guitarist & drummer formed Future of The Left and had released two great records, Curses and Travels with Myself and Another by the time of this NME gig. It was a hip young crowd in to see these ‘hot young bands’, which were read about on the internet and Pitchfork no doubt… yet I was curious as to how FoTL actually fit into this thing. They were a bit of a wildcard because I sensed they actually hated the idea of this kind of ‘showcase’ and might tear it up, I came to see a car crash. In the end though, it was quite sedate, almost like they quietly fulfilled their contractual obligation to play, while delivering a few barbs at the matinée crowd. Incidentally, if you doubt Andy Falkous’s form as a lippy shite, check out the live album from Last Night I Saved Her From Vampires for blistering comic schtick and audience member mockery). Maybe it was the Sunday afternoon vibe, but I don't remember it greatly, it was subdued, though I do recall the band left the stage one by one, the others still playing, to the point where the drummer had his drum kit dismantled around him. Maybe a slick commentary on the number of bands playing? Anyhoo, they remain a firm favourite, and I so wished they didn't just play Auckland here a couple of years back. Please come back, fellas! Song? From Curses - ‘Fingers Become Thumbs!’, perfect example of their sound.