mercredi, mai 31, 2006

Futureheads live

The Futureheads, Carling Academy, Glasgow

Past success sits heavily on shoulders of the Futureheads

By David Pollock @ Independent

If the Futureheads don't beware, they may find that the hounds they've created come back to bite them. Their inspired version of Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love", retooled into a shouty post-punk rocker, was entirely responsible for their rapid ascent to indie-pop stardom.

The problem is, the band may have an uphill struggle on their hands creating a song of their own which combines such dramatic pop urgency with song writing of such simplistic universality. Without, of course, adapting another song as their own.

More than many other flavour of the fortnight guitar acts, the Sunderland quartet are endearing for their sheer vivid energy and reassuring lack of pretension. Clad in monochrome trouser and shirt combinations, their visual style is a refreshing change from the self-conscious rock star peacocking of contemporaries like the Kaiser Chiefs. Yet, for various reasons, their whole persona suggests they're speaking directly to their young audience, rather than down to them. Many new bands with more apparent egos but not much more to say would do well to take inspiration from the Futureheads.

It would be patronising, of course, to suggest that the fact singers Ross Millard and Barry Hyde use their own accents so explicitly is reason for this rapport with the ordinary fan. Yet the very best songs in the field the Futureheads operate work precisely because their crowd pick up the lyrics easily and join in with an affirmation of youthful communality.

So the fact that the four might end up with a lasting legacy which stretches no further than one perfectly-pitched cover version doesn't really bear thinking about at the moment.

In this live context, they're simply an engaging and fun spectacle.

When Millard announced the last track with a resigned "Alright, here it is" before a note had been played, it felt like the band were in acceptance of their ensuing greatest hit's singular legacy. Had they closed the show at that moment, however, the crowd should not have felt short-changed.

© 2006 Independent News and Media Limited