Review: The Futureheads, live at Glee Club, Nottingham

Andrew Trendell caught up with Ross Millard from The Futureheads
Andrew Trendell caught up with Ross Millard from The Futureheads

REPORTER Andrew Trendell went to see The Futureheads at Glee Club in Nottingham on Thursday 12th April.

‘To do is to dare’. That’s what my Spurs-supporting friend tells me all the time.

Today’s charts are chocker-block with soulless auto-tuned R n’ B and shallow pop. There aren’t a whole lot of artists taking huge risks at the moment – the market just won’t allow it.

Then there’s those fearless Futureheads. Usually you’ll see them in somewhere much sweatier like Rescue Rooms, blasting through a 100mph set of break-neck barbed pop-rock. But this time, we find them on a tiny stage in Nottingham’s Glee Club – a far more fitting venue to mark the release of their recent acoustic and a capella album. Brave eh?

“It makes a nice change to be in a venue which doesn’t smell like vomit,” quips frontman Barry Hyde.

Tonight, Sunderland’s finest pull off a strange balance. In trimming away all of the excess so they stand on stage with their voices alone and the basic elements of a few traditional acoustic instruments. So in one sense, they sound like a completely fresh and new band, but driven by the distilled essence of The Futureheads.

Their folky re-imagining of Futureheads’ classics Decent Days and Nights, Man Ray and The Beginning of the Twist still maintain the spikey energy of the original pop-rock renditions, but with a new warming charm. These along with traditional Northern folk classics and a handful of wittily translated covers from everyone from Sparks to the Black Eyed Peas give the entire evening the vibe of a hoe-down of a lock-in in an old country inn. So much so in fact that a few leery Maccums are asked to leave the premises.

Either way, he who dares wins, and tonight The Futureheads are victorious.

By Andrew Trendell