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A Fistful Of Fandango 2009: day two


United Kingdom United Kingdom | 17 September 2009

The underground and cool atmosphere of the refurbished club added with the excessive crowds and four nights of killer line-ups, made it the most successful festival that Fandango has curated.

On the Thursday, Kong were on first up in the small and cosy Room 2, which aptly suited their punky and intense sound. Their eerie, selotaped faces were felt to full effect as the crowds started emerging. Their sound, a mix of Shellac and Fugazi and their staring, emotionless faces made them as poignant as ever with the guitarist canning it like someone had said rude things about his mother.

After a quick drink, we weaved through the crowd up to the grand space of the main room for Justin Lockley (formerly of YOURCODENAMEISMILO). His new band lived up to the hype with a beautiful blend of tinkling piano’s, light percussion and well-pitched lyrics. With a huge presence on stage, the singer warbles like he is in his bedroom. His progressive melodies oozed off the stage as the band showed confidence and strength. Then it was back over to room 2 for dark rock sound leaders KASMs, who were eager to show us why they have garnered that reputation. With noisy, haunting vocals, indecipherable feedback and lots of carnage and pissed looks from all in the band it was a sombre and droning affair.

In our pinball-like state it was back to the main room for Dinosaur Pile Up who, in the past, have wowed with their perfectly executed brand of heavy, Foo Fighter-esque post rock. How ever they bored this time around with a static performance. Big tunes but not big on personality it seemed, as the band moved and shaked at half-arsed speed. It was then back to the smaller cove for the room’s headliner The Victorian English Gentleman’s Club. Massively popular and known for a great show, they certainly didn’t disappoint the legions of fans gathered around the stage. A tribal juggernaut, which sounds like classic post-punk Adam And The Ants before they went all dandy, VEGC belt out the tunes one after another, full of annoying art rock swagger and true of themselves.

And so to the night’s headliners Future Of The Left. From the opening screams of ‘Arming Eritrea’ to the final noise driven finale ‘Cloak the Dagger’ the energy level never drops, each track is delivered with ferocious precision and drive, whipping the crowd into a frenzy, whilst only letting up in-between the songs for some witty banter and put downs of any hecklers who even dare take them on. Jumping off the person-high stage into the determined moshers, not only does bassist Kelson Mathias crowd surf, but brings a skill to this sport that puts teenage Opeth fans to shame. Positioning upright, he rides the crowd like a chariot, still hammering on his bass over the frenzied feedback sounds of Andy "Falco" Falkous. A great round off to a great night for Fandango – the curating was perfect, the bands performed well and the venue was well chosen for its unique layout and bustle-like atmosphere – what more could you ask for?

By Joe Gamp.


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