The Futureheads

It should by now be apparent that art-punk-barbershop tykes The Futureheads rightly and resolutely believe that this pop lark is something special, a thing to be cherished and honored by doing something a little bit different. With this in mind, Sunderland’s finest decided to embark on a tour to the very belly of the beast. The boozing choice of everyone’s least favorite drunken uncle and the scene of a million crimes against karaoke.

Yes, with the taste of pork scratching stuck to the palettes of their mouths, The Futureheads announced a tour of – gulp! – working men’s clubs.

In fairness, it’s a surprise that other bands haven’t tried this before. Spacious, ornate venues, kitsch decor, and a round of drinks for under three quid: working men’s clubs are officially great. If only that group of fellas with white shirts and Chuckle Brothers mustaches sat by the jukebox would stop staring at us. Still, first and foremost, tonight is a celebration.

The Futureheads, a mere ten miles from their hometown, have decided that this is their homecoming. Parents, siblings, lovers and friends are all present, while a seemingly never-ending procession of wide-eyed addicts skip into the venue with expectant glee. There’s a feeling that tonight is the night The Futureheads pass into local folklore, a feeling that tonight is the night The Futureheads become pop heroes.

Le Garage‘ sweetly aligns the boys’ sugar-coated “doo wops” with singer Barry’s paranoid yelp, while Ross and Jaff dance like their feet are on fire.

Stupid And Shallow‘, unquestionably one of the strangest and best songs ever written, is like German weirdos Can trapped inside the beating pop heart of Abba, while the ‘Heads‘ fannish reinterpretation of Kate Bush‘s ‘Hounds Of Love‘ leaves toothy smiles on the faces of the audience.

By the time ‘Carnival kids‘ arrives, the room has morphed into a squelchy heaving throng of flailing limbs and beating hearts. People are dancing – not bludgeoning each other with clumsy mosh-lurches and macho posturing – but actually busting moves. We always dreamed gigs could be like this, but to actually see it happening…

The Futureheads at Glastonbury Festival
The Futureheads at Glastonbury Festival

As The Futureheads launch into set closer ‘Pierce of Crap‘ Ross gushing: “This is like a dream”, pop kids clawing at Barry’s elastic legs and looking up doe-eyed at bassist Jaff and Drummer Dave, realizes that is has seen the future, and it’s f*cking brilliant. And those fellas with the mustaches? They danced all the way through.

The Futureheads

Background information
Origin: Sunderland, England
Genres: Post-punk revival, indie rock
Years active: 2000–2013 (hiatus)
Labels: Vagrant/StarTime International, 679, Nul

Members
Ross Millard
Barry Hyde
David Jaff Craig
Dave Hyde

Past members
Peter Brewis

© James Jam @ NME 31 July 2004

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