Does anyone remember XTC? They were a Swindon band that had some minor success in the late 70s and early 80s, most notably Making Plans for Nigel and Senses Working Overtime. The reason I mention is that back in the halcyon days of early punk/new wave they rivalled The Clash as my favourite band, but due to the lead singer developing stage fright they stopped touring in 1981. However when I first heard The Futureheads in 2004 I was instantly reminded of them and their unique brand of hyperactive pop.
I just loved The Heads eponymous debut and played to the point that I actually got sick of it. I was not overly enamoured with Hounds of Love but pleased for the success and publicity it brought the band. Watching them several times they were a joy to behold and Sunderland's finest could always be relied on to put on an entertaining show, including much inter-song banter between the band members. And then things started to go wrong. Quite frankly their second album News and Tributes stank the joint out and sold as well as Irish pork sausages. They were quickly unceremoniously dumped by their rcords label 679 and must have seriously considered splitting.
So it was with some trepidation that I learned that they
were self financing a new album This Is Not The World, on
their own label Nul Records. However the release marked a return
to form, and moreover contained plenty of the jangly guitar driven close
harmonied sound used so successfully in their debut album. Therefore
I found myself on a wet Monday evening (accompanied by my ever faithful
side kick The Pitman) at Cardiff newest music venue Sub 29. In fact
it turned out to be another name for the long established comedy club
Jongleurs, and therefore could comfortably hold around 800 people, although
given the inclement weather, credit crunch and proximity to Christmas
I feared the turn out my be sparse. Luckily this was not the case and
about 500 punters awaited the return of Messrs Hyde, Hyde, Millard and
Whilst Hounds of Love obviously was well received,
the biggest cheer was reserved for one of their latter singles Beginning
of the Twist. And so they carried on with each number being interspersed
with comic asides between the band members. In no particular order,
they belted out Stupid and Shallow, Man Ray,
Walking Backwards, Radio Heart, This is
Not The World, Area, Think Tonight,Carnival
Kids and Broke Up Time.