Fighting Boredom recently reviewed the new album by Coventry’s brilliant Futumche! We liked it a lot. When they announced that they were to play it in full we weren’t going to miss it. So, Futumche! playing For the Withered Deity just around the corner, Fighting Boredom knew it was going to be a damned good night.
Gigs where a band play an album all the way through is a concept usually served up by older bands who want to drag back punters that may have been disillusioned by recent offerings and will guarantee an audience. Or a reformed band that have no new material. Futumche! have turned that on it’s head and are playing their new album in its entirety just after release. I can vouch for the material, we reviewed it earlier this month, so seeing it done live is only going to be a treat.
Fun Sponge are first and they are very very loud. Thumping primal drumbeats and a fuzzy nasty guitar, they are rudimentary and very very loud. Did I mention the volume? It’s so loud that it’s punching me in the gut. The songs are short with the vocal just a hairsbreadth away from shouting, they play thrashed out indie punk which is a great sound. There are people nodding along and smiling all the way through their set. The drummer is playing in his socks, this seemed noteworthy for some reason. They have a hardcore edge to the sound. Their songs go from the thrashy indie to stuttering rockabilly drums and ranting over the top, a little like The Fall, in as much as they don’t seem to give a toss. There’s a rich heritage of bands that play from their souls and almost falling to pieces. This makes perfect sense to me. They go into a stupidly loud drum fill that is almost a drum solo from the long gone days of the NWOBHM. They declare that one of the songs is ‘bout the new rail service’ then play a slower more structured track. The set is short with loud incoherent noise and I love it.
MK1 Sound System are a trio, they start with a heavy psychedelic jam and from there spiral off into the stratosphere. They slow down to true stoner pace and fade in and out with a quietness and guitar before the drums smack it back onto the stoner path. The guitarist has a beanie and shirt, the bassist is decked out in full tie die a-go-go sixties madness. But how they look isn’t the point. The point is the immense smoked out, fuzzed in and dropped through the ceiling massive noise they are making. They start to add to the groove with widdling and spiraling and it only makes me like them more, the vocal is, as far as I can tell, just noises sung underneath the general groove. They slowly morph into a song that sounds like Ennio Morricone meeting Hawkwind and being mugged by Motorhead in a dark alley. That’s where they take us and that’s how they leave us. Ending with an outro to end all outros, they blast away the last of your brain cells and leave the stage. Excellent set.
Futumche! step onstage, the coolest men in the building, and immediately play, no intro, no waiting, they are right on it tonight. They are harder, faster and taking the sound to another level. I mean the albums damn good, but this? They are spot on. It’s raw and visceral but they still have more ideas in one song than some bands have in an album. The whole band are focused to the point of exploding and they are so committed, you can see how much this matters to them.
This has no genre that I can name, it’s just Futumche!, music doesn’t have to be mindless and stupid, it can be thought out and cerebral. Cool, smart and tight. What more do we need. The songs skirt the edge of post-punk but I can only say that in the way that post-punk could be anything. A tiny pinch of P.I.L but better, I think I’m allowed to say that. They slip into spiraling almost free form jazz but without any gaps or warning, you couldn’t get a razor blade between the sounds. They sound loose and free but at the same time they know exactly what they are doing. The crowd are all moving, pushing forward and dancing. The two at the front of the stage are sweating and completely absorbed, meaning every word and note, making you listen and watch them. Then you happen to notice the drummer who is so relaxed it’s almost laughable. He stares out into space looking completely at home, he doesn’t even seem to be sweating but must be as his shirt is gone a song later. It’s so natural to him that he exudes cool and calm as he holds everything together with the drumming of a lunatic. He doesn’t just hold a beat, he writes the path as they go. Perfect.
It gets serious with the hard core punk basslines and chopping guitar but even that changes to dub bass and a tribal smack in the face. As the night goes on it gets even louder and harder, the band become more focused and the music grows.
You lose track of songs starting and ending as the crescendos of sound break and crash over each other. Just occasionally you realise that they have hit a groove and want to take it to it’s conclusion but they seem unable not to change into something else; something better and funkier, or harder or just plain Futumche!.
Listen to the lyrics, ‘The Rise Of Simple minds’, Futumche! want you to think about stuff, question things and not just accept what you have, this music makes you wonder why there isn’t anyone else making stuff like this, where did the ideas come from and why doesn’t everyone think anymore. This is unexpected music that this crowd are right on top of. Futumche! make you dance and shout and scream, but they also make you think.
A perfect evening spent with two great and one excellent band. Don’t miss them next time. Dapper gentlemen and straight up weird strange odd and wonderful.
MK1 Soundsystem are on Facebook
All pictures by Martin Ward, all words by Adrian Bloxham