Last night we witnessed the best new band we’ve seen all year, the pride of Sunderland, England, The Futureheads.
You may know them from such things like their support tour with Franz Ferdinand, but we don’t, because we don’t think all that much of FF. But somewhere along the way we kept hearing the name of “The Futureheads,” and finally we got a copy of the album.
Almost from the moment we started listening to the CD, we were in love.
So as you can imagine, we were totally stoked to check them out on the first stop of their headlining tour in America. The venue: The Canal Room, which–by the way–must have the most inappropriately loud sound system on the entire island of Manhattan. Seriously, within 10 minutes of being there we thought we were going to go deaf. (By the end of the night, we were convinced we were deaf.)
The Futureheads were supposed to go on at 11pm, but of course they didn’t. As we waited, we turned around to see what the crowd behind us was doing. Lord knows we couldn’t figure out what was going on simply by sound, because the booming speakers drowned out everything. As we glanced over our shoulder, we saw one of deadest crowds to ever exist. People were just standing there with absolutely no expressions on their faces, just staring ahead, waiting for the band to come on. It was as if someone had come around and given each and every person a free-standing lobotomy. If you had cut off that horrible sound system violently spewing out the songs that Justine D. was playing, we swear the room would have been quiet enough to hear the drop of a pin.
Finally the band came onstage around 12 midnight. They opened up with “Le Garage,” the harmonic sounds pleasantly filling the room. But soon after, all hell broke loose as the song picked up speed and singer Barry Hyde started contorting his body with a type of fluidity that suggested that the bones in his body had melted into a rubbery substance.
They went on to play nearly ever song on their self-titled album: “Robot”, “A to B”, “Meantime”, “Alms”, “Carnival Kids”, “The City Is Here for Your to Use”, “First Day”, “He Knows”, “Stupid and Shallow”, etc. In addition to doing their spectacular cover of Kate Bush’s song “Hounds of Love” (which they introduced as a song by “an 80s temptress…Sheena Easton“) they did a cover of another song, but we cannot remember what the hell the name of the song was, or who it was originally by. (UPDATE: It was “Dorian Gray” by Television Personalities. Thanks to Michelle for reminding us. Oh, and if you think the name “The Canal Room” is bad, just remember that club used to be called “Shine“. Eek. Thanks Kevin.)
The band furiously played through all their songs with a feverish intensity. The sounded incredibly tight and polished, but not in a manufactured way, in a “these guys know what their doing” sort of way. The Futureheads had superb showmanship, and never seemed to tire through their almost hour-long set.
For some reason singer/guitarist Barry Hyde reminds us of Josh Homme from Queens of the Stoneage. No, he’s not quite that tall, nor does he have red hair, but he seemed to have that vague sense of cool authority to him as he pounded through the show. Drummer David Hyde could possibly have the shortest face ever known to man. It’s like someone squeezed the top and bottom of his head together, and let the rest of his head naturally fill out to the sides…yet despite the unfortunate short-faceness, he’s actually sorta maybe a little bit cute, like in that Conor Deasy kind of way.
Ok, we take that back, The Thrills’ Conor Deasy is pretty cute all the time, but we think David’s one of those guys you look at and you’re like “Oh he’s so cute!” and then you see a picture of him where he looks like a Pygmy and you’re like “er.. uh.. maybe I’m wrong on this one.” So we really can’t be sure on his cute factor.
Bassist Jaff (no last name) is cut in the mold of that indistinguishable tall lanky pale English dude look. Not much swooning there. So in conclusion, we guess if we had to hump a member of The Futureheads, it would have to be Barry by default.
Anyway, the band finished their set with “Man Ray” and went straight out the door leading to the street, only to come back in a few moments later to play a song that they dedicated to “W”. What song was that? “Piece of Crap,” of course, to which a handful of people up front spazed out to.
Needless to say, today we woke up a happy little camper. If you know your ass from your elbow, you will soon find out The Futureheads are your new favorite band.