Thursday, September 18

The Futureheads Live

. Thursday, September 18

The Futureheads
Liverpool University
Tuesday 22nd February

Famously dropped by their record label after the under appreciated and under selling second album ‘News & Tributes’ The Futureheads are back again independently and with new material from the tentatively titles ‘This Is Not The World’ to showcase.

Lead singer Barry Hyde is inexplicably dressed in a black waistcoat and bow tie without any shirt so he looks a bit like a stripper/ waiter. Jaff is a Julian Opie painting come to life and guitarist Ross is still channelling Penfold. They are a bundle of energy throughout and kick off the set with ‘Meantime’ still holding all the angular charm it did first time around. Tonight’s show is a heavy nod towards the first album and the highly anticipated new material. Despite boasting some of the bands best material ‘News & Tributes’ seems to have been consigned as a blip in the bands career, this is a crying shame as the likes of ‘Favours For Favours’ and ‘Skip To The End’ are some of the best songs on show tonight. They show a progression from the earlier material whilst not losing any of the melodic and indie disco elements; it would have been nice to hear ‘Cope’ or maybe ‘Return Of The Beserker’ for example.

So onto the new stuff. ‘Broke Up The Time’ is a brilliant addition to the Futureheads catalogue and is also symptomatic of the new material. Clearly angry following their treatment at the hands of the 679 bosses the Gang Of Four aping sparse songs have been replaced with fast paced, aggressive and loud tracks. None of the eccentricities, jerkiness and four part harmonies are present, dropped instead for simplistic rock ‘n’ roll. At one point Barry describes the new songs as ‘Punk Waltz’ which goes half way to describing the songs, the waltzing element however is not quite apparent. ‘Crash’ and ‘Everything is Changing Today’ trundle along in a lumpy fashion and merely add fuel to the chants from the morons at the back who want ‘Hounds Of Love’.

Therein lies the problem for The Futureheads, they will never manage to shake off the initial flourishes of their career. Liverpool is bad for nostalgia loving but the likes of ‘Carnival Kids’, A To B’, ‘Decent Days and Nights’ and the track of the night ‘He Knows’ all shine far brighter than their more recent counter parts. ‘Hounds Of Love’ is not built up by the band which shows their discomfort with being whisper it One Hit Wonders. Whereas once you could wax lyrical about how they are under appreciated and misunderstood the new material show cased tonight shows little desire to craft a new niche for themselves.

The one song encore is the pre debut album track ‘Piece Of Crap’ a frenetic thrash along that shows The Futureheads at their best. Fun, fast, disposable and instant it’s a snapshot of the excitement of four years ago, a sad reminder of what once was.

'Hounds Of Love' (Live)



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