Review: The Futureheads
By Robert Jackman
On the penultimate date of their British tour this month, The Futureheads show a sellout crowd at Norwich's Waterfront how they've come back better and stronger as they gear up to release their first self-financed album.
The Futureheads have had pretty rotten luck so far. Back in 2005, they visited Norwich as part of the NME Awards Tour, sharing a stage with Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party and The Killers.
It was a tour which helped to kick-start indie's resurgence, giving those lucky enough to have a ticket an exhilarating peek at the future of British music.
But, to the astonishment of anyone who witnessed their set, The Futureheads never followed their tour-mates to the heights of stardom.
Things didn't go as smoothly for the Sunderland post-punks as they did for the rest of that particular indie convoy and at the end of 2006, they parted company with the Warner-owned 679 Recordings.
And, despite their two widely acclaimed albums, their mainstream recognition has extended no further than their jaunty rehash of Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love.
Tragically, the song – still their only top 10 hit to date – looked set to outlive the band.
Watching them storm Norwich's Waterfront, the injustice has never seemed more unfair.
Their performance is a brilliant collision of exquisite harmonies and solid punk integrity, each track as fresh and arresting as anything the NME brat pack has produced.
Justly, the crowd lap it up. On CD, the Futureheads are distinctive enough, each member adding a layer of vocals, like a bizarre barbershop tribute to The Clash.
Tonight, however, hundreds of people happily chip in – and the effect is staggering.
As the band unleash their more hectic numbers, they prompt so many crowd-surfers security must wish they were paid commission for each one they hoik from the audience.
With their own record label, Nul, now set up, The Futureheads are set to give it another go by releasing another album, This Is Not The World, in May.
Judging by these scenes, if lady luck dares stand in the way again, she'll be trampled flat in seconds.
The Futureheads played The Waterfront, Norwich, on Monday, 28 January, 2008.
last updated: 30/01/2008 at 16:37