Mclusky played The Sinclair – 3/8

Welsh noise rock favorites Mclusky finally returned to Massachusetts for a sold-out Friday night show with support from Minibeast and The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries.


Many a tangle of timelines and lineups chart Mclusky’s course to the ongoing tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their beloved sophomore LP Mclusky Do Dallas. 2024 marks what’s actually the 22nd anniversary of the record’s release, for one thing – a delay mandated by a hearing condition temporarily sidelining singer/guitarist Andy Falkous after the tour’s announcement. And then there’s the question of who makes up Mclusky, exactly. Following their initial split in 2005, Falkous remains the sole original member of the trio (who have occasionally expanded to a four-piece) since the fits-and-starts reactivation of the project for occasional benefit gigs and other appearances in the 2010s. Their current iteration includes drummer Jack Egglestone, a latter-period member of Mclusky’s original run and part of Falkous’ next band Future of the Left, and bassist/vocalist Damien Sayell, who eventually took on low-end duties from Julia Ruzicka – another interim Mclusky-ite who’s also a part of FotL (a band known to throw the occasional Mclusky song into their live sets, to complicate things a little further).

So yes, where one band ends and the next begins in all this is a tad hazy – a fact cheekily acknowledged by Falkous’ styling of certain post-reunion Mclusky performances under Mclusky* or ‘mclusky’ monikers. And the road to a North American tour – which neither of Falkous’ bands had taken on in over a decade – was a slightly bumpy one. Ultimately though, as they recently proved to a sold-out crowd in Cambridge, the current Mclusky can bring the noise with enough fervor to render all of this moot.

Last Friday’s set cleverly opened with “Fuck This Band,” Do Dallas‘ most deceptively sedate number, before launching into an hour-plus of bracing volume and caustic energy befitting of the record’s (and the band’s) lofty reputation. Falkous was in fine form at the helm, delivering his biting songs in that distinctively-accented tone, and the rhythm section of Sayell and Egglestone (semi-obscured by a plexiglass shield meant to guard Falkous’ ears) sounded massive.

Twelve of Dallas’ 14 tracks made up the bulk of the set – including frantic leadoff “Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues,” the spiky-riffed “Collagen Rock” and a raging “To Hell With Good Intentions” – albeit chopped up amid other old favorites, deep cuts and new songs that kept the packed and fervent audience on its toes. “The Digger You Deep” and the pulverizing “Unpopular Parts of a Pig,” sourced from the band’s recent first EP of new music since 2004, both slotted into the set effortlessly and helped to drill home that the Mclusky of 2024 is hardly a nostalgia product. There’s apparently a new album on the way, and with it the band seem primed to complete the rare return that makes it feel as though they never left.

Offering strong support for the night were a pair of bands boasting some noteworthy local pedigrees. First up, the mighty Minibeast delivered hypnotic prog-psych grooves under the direction of ex-Mission of Burma drummer Peter Prescott, and next came irreverent rockers courtesy of The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries, starring Elisha Wiesner (leader of indie rockers Kahoots), Chris Brokaw (Come co-leader, drummer for Codeine) and Bob Weston (Shellac bassist, tape-looper extraordinaire for the post-reunion Burma).

Scroll below for a gallery of the whole evening.