The Futureheads. We've written about them, you've seen them on the road with Franz Ferdinand, specialty radio has supported them, they are a true buzz band. When will they make the big jump over to the mainstream? The dreaded jump where fans who knew about them first, the NME-reading faithful, have to reluctantly give them up to the masses. The Futureheads are on that cusp. Last night's show was their third time through New York and to me it was the quintessence of what a band should be; solid live show with real singing, great energy, the ability to interact effortlessly with the audience, goofy yet cool [especially on the harmonies] personalities, and when done leaving you wanting more. The songs are compact pop nuggets. They kick in fast and end just as quickly. No time to get bored. It's like the Buzzcocks, XTC, Devo and The Jam rolled into one. Out of their native Sunderland in the North of England, they are just British to the casual US fan. In our world they fit into the landscape of Franz, Keane and Snow Patrol. Are they working class? Do Americans know? Or care? Much more than an anglophiles tip, these guys stand out because of the infectiousness of the songs. Take away the UK hype and you've got the tunes. "Le Garage", "Robot", "Alms", "A to B", "Meantime", "The City Is Hear For You To Use" and the killer Kate Bush cover of "Hounds of Love" which they arrange perfectly with the crowd handling vocal duties in the classic "left side sing this part, right side sing this part" fashion. I tell you, they are the complete package. And maybe they are coming in at he right time. Angular guitars and Gang of Four name checking are all the rage, but what sets them apart from the others is the fact that three of the guys can sing. And quite cleverly. Harmonies or in three part staccato delivery, they keep you involved. Who sings what part? Is the drummer singing now? It makes you constantly scan the stage to see what is happening next. If you stay focused on middle man Ross Millard you may lose out on bassist Jaff. Then you have Barry Hyde bouncing around playing guitar just being Barry. He even has a cool name.
What can I say? A guitar player/singer named Barry, cool songs, the boundless energy. These guys are destined if given that one big break it takes in the monstrously sized US. And I think I see it. Word is their track "Decent Days And Nights" will be the lead single on the new O.C. Mix 4 soundtrack. Bingo!