Walking into a venue to see the mass of curly blondness that is Big Jeff in the front row is practically synonymous with great expectations of a night. With a reputation of attending only the best show of the day, Jeff and his unruly hairdo set the mark pretty high
Bristol’s ‘most confrontational punksters’ The St Pierre Snake Invasion start the evening off on the right track with a pun-filled set (and some top quality punk-rock), receiving particular ovation for ‘If The Only Way Is Essex Then You Can Kill Me Now’. Second to the stage are Brighton-bred The Wytches, with a promising set full of bass lines that echo The Last Shadow Puppets and vocals that will ‘metaphorically punch you in the ear’ which unfortunately, doesn’t quite hold the attention of a crowd who are clearly waiting for one thing.
Come 8:30 and everyone is raring to go. If by ‘go’ you mean wreak absolute havoc in a sweaty circle pit, that is. Cardiff’s own Future of the Left bring a Johnny Borrell belittling, commercial punk abhorring, guitar thrashing show to the packed out main room of Bristol’s best-loved boat. A strong opening with ‘Arming Eritrea’ shows that even the quartet’s older hits still pack a punch and sarcastic remark driven between song chatter smoothly leading the proceedings to a selection of tracks from the Cardiffian’s latest release, ‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’. A mclusky cover (frontman Andy Falkous’ original project) is thrown into the middle of the set for good measure, provoking further plaudits and picking up a show that was at risk of becoming tired in its middle-third. The short-lived dip in excitement is not revisited during the reminder of the night- ‘I Don’t Know What You Ketamine’ provides the peak of the evening before an eclectic mash up of another mclusky cover, and some of the band’s biggest hits, including ‘Singing Of The Bonesaws’ (as well quick jump to Wham!’s ‘Club Tropicana’) that leaves lead guitarist Jimmy Watkins hanging from the balcony of the 54 year old seafarer.
Future Of The Left did everything in their power to ensure it was a night to remember, and it was. After all, how many gigs have you been to where being fed peparami from the end of a drumstick is a normal occurrence?