Frontman Andy ‘Falco’ Falkous still isn’t sure whether Mclusky were the right band at the wrong time, or the wrong band at the right time.
It was the turn of the century and the popularity of bands like the Strokes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Darkness had sent the English music press into paroxysms of excitement. Rock, it was proclaimed with a disconcerting lack of irony, was back. Yet outside of their core fans, Mclusky’s abrasive post-punk sound and barbed lyrics remained largely unheralded.
“I think there were a few things that worked against us,” Falkous says. “I was a fat lad, for a start. Secondly, all the songs that you could sing along to had swear words in them. Third, I couldn’t abide cocaine or the people who take it, which is a huge problem if you want to get on in the music industry, which is basically fuelled by it.”
Falkous, who brings Mclusky back to Australia next month, recalls a gig in London when bass player Jon Chapple broke into an impromptu Bill Hicks routine while the band was trying to impress staff from the legendary Beggars Banquet label. “If your idea of punk rock is to deliberately f— with things, then [Chapple] had a punk-rock attitude,” Falkous laughs. “But I’d rather not choose my target as the people who might be marketing my records.”