Tonight is the second event of the A Fistful of Fandango 3 indoor festival. Residing at the 229, this line-up certainly promises to be the one that will leave you going deaf, and if there’s anyone in doubt it’s evening openers Kong who give the majority of the 229’s smaller room a heavy case of tinnitus. But it’s not just an aural assault the trio give us – disguised in eerie masks and wearing scrappy red clothing gives the impression that this is a band that saw what Slipknot were doing 10 years ago and stamped an eccentric British stamp all over it. Frontman ‘Magpie’ threatens cold blooded murder with his wild eyes and grinding voice, and the songs themselves must be what it’s like to be trapped inside a psychopathic, schizophrenic serial killer’s mind. Seriously off-kilter and troubling, Kong have already cemented themselves as something you just have to see before you shuffle your mortal coil.
After that ear-bleeding experience, the audience idles into the cavernous main room to catch Justin Lockey’s new project, White Belt, Yellow Tag, to see if they’re anything like the much missed Yourcodenameis:milo. However, it would be more likely to see U2 filing a case for plagiarism with their set sounding a few notes too similar to the aging arena rockers. And with the rather unchallenging music there is little to cover up the lacklustre performance on stage, despite drummer Tom Bellamy’s rather flamboyant drumming style, his arms flailing about like he was on fire. There’s a palpable sense in the audience tonight that all they really wanted was to have something like YCI:M back in their lives, and instead they get this?
Next up on the main stage is another band making more than a few rumblings around this tiny island. Dinosaur Pile Up are exciting, full of energy and certainly not shy on their debut EP ‘The Most Powerful EP In The Universe’. But up on the stage tonight their music seems drained and tired, lacking a lot of the vitality that they captured on that EP. On the fairly large stage there seems to be a touch of nerves that just inhibit their performance tonight, but it’s still early days for them at the moment.
To close the night’s fandango-ing, on comes one of the UK’s brightest talents yet. You can take your Arctic Monkeys’, your You Me At Six’s and especially your Reverend and the Makers’ and insert them politely up your bottom. Future of the Left have been working this country like a maltreated dog for a long time now, and still they consistently throw all they have to offer to the baying crowds. This is a crowd that includes kids in pink shirts shouting abuse at every point the band isn’t playing their heart-pounding, stomach vibrating set, and that’s just fine for frontman Andrew Falkous, who tears petulant fashionistas like these apart with nonchalant, and devastating, ease.
With a set very heavy on recent release ‘Travels With Myself And Another’ the music is punchy, violent and concise, lending itself well to a high octane combination of moshing and dancing from the various expectant faces in the crowd. Security guards tut and mutter to themselves as bassist Kelson Mattias takes over the Roland for the foundation shaking ‘You Need Satan More Than He Needs You’ and whilst the now par for the course set closer ‘Cloak The Dagger’ doesn’t end in as much destruction as usual due to the neck achingly high stage, it still sees Mattias making a run for the crowd and disappearing into the night on a wave of rapturous, and incredibly sweaty, applause. Which is quite right really, because if people hadn’t have appreciated what they’d just witnessed then, well…there’d be no hope for humanity at all.