AU58: Future Of The Left news feature

July 1, 2009

This was the second time I’d interviewed Andy Falkous, the first being a face-to-face in Dublin with the whole band. It’s fair to say he gives good interview…

Future Of The Left 500



Post-punk provocateurs Future of the Left have had a mixed few months. Their second album Travels With Myself And Another was released in June to critical raptures, but not before it leaked two months in advance.

“It was incredibly disappointing, like somebody holding your birthday party without you,” says Andy Falkous from his mother’s house in Northumberland, where in a rare moment of respite he is acting as a surrogate babysitter while Mrs Falkous is out.

Meanwhile, although a UK tour in May was a moderate success, scheduled shows in Belfast and Dublin had to be cancelled due to pitiful ticket sales. “I don’t even want to tell you, they were so low,” laments the frontman. “Literally, I had three times as many messages and comments on Myspace from people saying they had bought tickets than had actually bought tickets.” Happily, rescheduled dates are promised for September.

The album leak led to one of Falkous’s typically entertaining Myspace blogs (sample quote: “I’m not angry – I don’t blame you, unless you leaked it, in which case I WILL KILL YOU.”) and though his words are couched in a heavy dose of irony, it’s clear that the episode still stings.

“I think it would be quite an entertaining thing if you could identify the person who had leaked it and string them up in the middle of the street or something,” he says dryly. “If bands were able to take on the people that leaked their album with weapons in gladiatorial combat, then maybe people would think twice about leaking records.”

The critical acclaim that Future of the Left enjoy is entirely at odds with their level of success so far – they get much better press than Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone’s previous band mclusky, but Andy has gone on record to say that they sell fewer records and play to smaller crowds. Which is a mystery, as in 2007’s Curses and now Travels With Myself And Another, the band has produced two of the most thrilling rock records of the decade. So why the struggle?

“It’s probably just that little bit too difficult or weird,” Falkous reasons, “or the humour aspect which is so relatively advertised puts people off. Let’s face it, most music is incredibly po-faced, even from individuals in bands who are very humorous and intelligent human beings. At the end of the day, it’s because we’re the band that we are, and there’s an argument that you reach the people you’re meant to reach. Myself, my ambitions lie beyond playing to 28 people in a club in Carlisle. As you would fucking hope.”

The band now have the chance to take their bowel-loosening live show to the States and Canada with an 11-date headline tour, their first ever across the pond, starting on July 13. Falkous is glad of the opportunity to play in more glamorous – and welcoming – locales. “We supported our friends Against Me! [in America] last October, and that went incredibly well. I mean, the reactions were superb. We supported them in Europe and the reactions were uniformly terrible. But yeah, I think this band will rise or fall on its success or otherwise in the States. We’ve had the critical reaction that bands can only dream about in this country, but we’re still not really seeing the benefits or results of that in terms of crowds. It’s going to have to happen in other countries.”


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