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Back To The Futureheads

Lauren Tarnofsky |
October 7, 2010 | 11:50 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter
Sunderland's finest, The Futureheads, return stateside with new material.
Sunderland's finest, The Futureheads, return stateside with new material.
Nobody has ever rocked the tambourine as hard as The So So Glos, Young the Giant, and headliner, The Futureheads, at The Troubadour October 6th.  The Troubadour smelt of its usual luring musky aroma of beer-soaked wood and sweat with a hint of hipster as fans slowly started meandering in for the So So Glos to hit the stage first. 
The Brooklyn quartet laid down fresh indie-pop sounds that made a strong rock and roll background very evident.  The drummer wasn’t wearing shoes, but the choruses were catchy and raw, promising the band’s main fan base to soon reach much farther than New York City. 
As the small venue continued to quickly fill up, the dress code of the crowd made a swift transition from cut-off jean shorts and black thrift store band T-shirts to, well, more blonde.
SoCal band Young The Giant are currently supporting The Futureheads for part of their American tour
SoCal band Young The Giant are currently supporting The Futureheads for part of their American tour
Young the Giant, out of nearby Orange County, CA, although composed of mostly international and non-California-raised kids, followed the So So Glos.  When asked what genre they would label themselves as, singer Sameer Gadhia replied, “throwback pop.” Their energetic stage performance and unique sound was surprisingly mature beyond their years and can be compared to a more rock-based version of Vampire Weekend with soft, melodic intermediaries.  Their strong vocals and matchless rhythms should carry their upcoming self-titled album, to be released October 26th, quite far.  If they ended up finding their lost tour van keys after the show that is…
English punk band The Futureheads, are able to turn simple guitar riffs and drum beats into catchy rock anthems.  Their upbeat and erratic rock is actually produced by a delicious layer cake of vocals coming from all four members of the band, iced with lead singer and guitarist Barry Hyde’s strong English accent.  
Hyde’s lyrics are teasingly echoed by other members, Jaff (Bass, Vocals), Ross Millard (Guitar, Vocals), and Peter Brewis (Drums, Vocals.)  The charismatic band, which has been compared to artists such as Block Party, Arctic Monkeys, and Franz Ferdinand, gave a solid live performance that held true to their studio-mixed/CD quality sound.  The Futureheads are more than on par with other such successful bands, yet are still highly underrated.  Crowd-pleasers, “Heartbeat Song” and “I Can Do That Too” have been rumored to be floating around KROQ’s playlists, but regardless of successfully producing pop-punk albums since the groups’ formation in 2000, they have yet to break through the mainstream. 
After the show, while finally relaxed and perched up against a brick wall with a cigarette, Barry Hyde was able to answer a few inquiries about the band and the night’s performance. When asked where and how The Futureheads, who took their band name from a Flamming Lips song title, formed, he replied that they met at a music-based youth project (similar to America’s YMCAs) in Sunderland, England.
No, they were not helping children learn to play instruments; they were in fact, the “troubled children” that sought out the center as a safe haven to hone their musical abilities.  Hyde has wanted to be a “rock star in a band since [he] was four” and started off chasing his dream by repeatedly playing Jimmie Hendrix solos... it paid off.  Hyde mentioned that while on tour, the redundancy of playing some of the same songs over and over can become tiresome as one might imagine, but he ensured us that playing with his best friends “is a real privilege, its what [they] do, and [they] feel very lucky.”  
Through the years, Hyde in particular, has been greatly influenced by Fugazi, Devo, and Mission of Burma.  However, when asked who he would enjoy seeing (dead or alive) in concert the most, he immediately went to Tom Waits, whom he deemed “the ultimate American song-writing troubadour” (no pun intended).  Although Lincoln Hall in Chicago remains his most memorable American tour spot, Los Angeles was glad to have him and the rest of his mates back after a long overdue four-year drought.  
Reach reporter Lauren Tarnofsky here



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