Mclusky, The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries, & Pure Adult @ Warsaw

Post Author: Edwina Hay

The Welsh group threw down a powerful performance in NYC after sets from a pair of fantastic openers

I first discovered Mclusky over 20 years ago because someone I knew via the internet asked me if I heard their album, Mclusky Do Dallas. At the time, I hadn’t and trusted her taste in music, so I went to Tower Records to buy it on CD. Once I heard the first few moments of “Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues,” I loved what I heard and went to see them open for Miracle of ‘86 at Mercury Lounge. I last saw the Welsh trio perform live in New York City at Knitting Factory on Tuesday, October 19, 2004. The group would disband only a couple months later, informing their fans via a note that was posted online. Two thirds of Mclusky started a new band called Future of the Left, who I would try to see whenever they came to New York on tour. When Mclusky announced their tour in 2022, I was extremely excited to see them again, but the east coast leg was postponed due to vocalist/guitarist Andrew Falkous (usually referred to as Falco) developing tinnitus and could not perform the remaining dates. Fast forward to Tuesday, March 7, 2024 where the three members of Mclusky, Falco, plus drummer Jack Egglestone, and new-ish member Damien Sayell, headlined Warsaw in Brooklyn, NY on their rescheduled tour.

Kicking off the show promptly at 8PM was a local band called Pure Adult, which is the project of Jeremy Snyder and Bianca Abarca that was formed in 2017. They put on a highly energetic performance and I was a little regretful that I hadn’t seen them play before this bill.

The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries, who are currently touring with Mclusky, were second at 8:50PM and features Elisha Wiesner (Kahoots), Bob Weston (Shellac, Volcano Suns, Mission of Burma), and Chris Brokaw (Come, Codeine, The New Year). Weston remastered the 20th anniversary edition of Mclusky’s second album Mclusky Do Dallas – released in 2022 – which was also available to purchase at their merch table.

Before the concert, I wondered if Mclusky would incorporate elements of protection that Mission of Burma used during their reunion after vocalist/guitarist Roger Miller was diagnosed with tinnitus. Egglestone’s kit was positioned behind a plexiglass divider (just like MoB drummer Peter Prescott), and right before the louder songs began, Falco donned large headphones to protect his hearing, similar to Miller. Fittingly, the first song of the night was “Fuck This Band,” a slower track from their monumental second album. “Day of the Deadringers” was called “statistically the third best song” from Mclusky Do Dallas by Falco, “To Hell With Good Intentions” was dedicated to friends while he simultaneously called it the worst song of the set. From their third album, The Difference Between Me and You Is that I’m Not on Fire, we heard “Without MSG I’m Nothing,” “You Should Be Ashamed Seamus,” and an additional song that was not on their setlist, “That Man Will Not Hang.” Only one song from their debut record, My Pain and Sadness is More Sad and Painful Than Yours, was performed, and the band jokingly debated aloud if it should be played slow or fast, and Damien concluded that “fast” was the wrong answer from the audience but they thankfully played it fast anyway (“Rice Is Nice”). 

About midway during their set, I realized three things. The first was that this was the largest number of people I’ve ever witnessed at a Mclusky show. It dawned on me that I was in a room full of other people who most likely discovered them after their 2005 breakup loudly singing along to their older material and enjoying the newer songs that should be on their next record, and I never experienced a sold out Mclusky show before. I also realized I highly enjoyed Falco’s banter and remembered that all these years later, his jokes in between songs is something I always look forward to. And the final thing I realized in watching Damien Sayell is that he is a fantastic replacement for the band’s original bassist Jon Chapple, who quit the band in early 2005 and moved from Wales to Australia. Sayell was extremely entertaining to watch while playing his bass and moving around constantly on stage. “Chases,” a song originally sung by Jon, may have been a little better with Damien singing it now; the lyrics of “don’t go fucking in the barn/because the barn’s on fire,” still strikes me as pretty good advice.

Announcing there would be no encore after “Whoyouknow,” the final song on Dallas, (not counting the secret track called “Reviewing the Reviewers,” of course) Falco seemed to get a little emotional about playing to a fully packed room in our city while the audience clapped and cheered after the final song ended. He made an announcement about their merch for sale and soon quipped, “It’s been an absolute fucking pleasure. Don’t tell anyone I said that.” 

My sincere apologies to Falco for telling everyone just now that he said that nice thing.

You can check out all the highlights from a fantastic show below.

All Photos by Edwina Hay


The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries

Pure Adult