I was a bit of a later adopter to crowd funded albums. I guess I’m a late adopter to most things, everything from CD players (I bought my first dedicated, non-computer one in 2007) to iPods (I was given my first one as a birthday present in 2010). I mean I still go to the shops and buy music and I’ve never bought anything from the Apple store.
I kept meaning to buy things when Brisbane bands started crowding funding releases but kept not getting around to it until it was too late. Future Of The Left’s How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident was the first time I’ve given someone money before they’ve actually produced anything. I did buy the mbv album when it was first announced but that was already recorded and just a case of buying it directly from the band rather than being crowd funded in the normal sense of the model. FoTL are a band that I’ve loved over the last few years even though I was a late comer to the band as they always played Brisbane in the New Year when I’m often away. It’s a weird feeling having given them some money with no idea what they might produce but then being completely delighted with what you receive (the pre-release download followed by a signed album on vinyl in the post) and just really happy for the band that you could help them out in a very small way to release an album that’s been so well received. One thing I couldn’t believe was when Falco said that something like 1,800 people had pledged, I just expected so many more people would have, I guess I thought three or four times as many as did.
The band play an instore in Tym’s on the afternoon of the show. It’s a fairly miserable drive in from Salisbury as England manage to stage yet another collapse in the Sydney Test and lose well within four days to lose the series 5-0. It felt like that first day at The Gabba that I went to only about 6 weeks earlier was a lifetime ago (the first day was a lot more pleasant than the second day though). The downside with always touring Australia at the start of January is that you’re pretty much guaranteed that your dates are going to coincide with a post-Xmas heatwave. It’s stupidly hot in Tym’s, the fans make little different and within a few minutes of being in the shop I could probably wring my t-shirt out. The only upside is that they didn’t play yesterday, as the Saturday was even hotter.
When you play in a heatwave there are very few places you want to be less than The Zoo but thankfully it’s not as hot as it was in Tym’s. I’ve only ever seen them with this line-up and they looked settled, with obvious camaraderie between them. It’s a bit of surprise to see Falco tweeting (in March 2014) about some solo songs that he’s releasing that don’t fit into the FoTL style. It’s one thing I often think about as bands just seem to pigeon themselves into one particular sound/style, with side projects used to try out other things, rather than progressing as a band and going in new directions.
The band are excellent and it’s a really enjoyable show. One surprise is that the band don’t play much (if anything, I can’t exactly remember) from their last album, The Plot Against Common Sense, which they obviously focused on during their last tour, but which has a load of great songs on it. The bulk of the set comes from How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident but the band also drop in their couple of obligatory mclusky songs, ‘Light Sabre Cocksucking Blues’ and ‘To Hell With Good Intentions’. Interestingly they start with ‘Arming Eritrea’, which I’m sure Falco tweeted that they wouldn’t be doing anymore a few months earlier.
To go with my signed copy of the album I also pick up a t-shirt and having been reminded of the genius of mclusky search the internet and manage to get the Record Day coloured vinyl re-release of Mclusky Do Dallas for less than $30 including the postage from the UK. It’s a bargain, especially given how stupidly expensive vinyl has become in Australia. I can’t work out how the pricing model works when one single album might cost $25 but another might be double that. I guess it’s the music industry milking it for all its worth as ever.