The Cluny, Newcastle
“Welcome to 2003/4,” says The Futureheads’ guitarist Ross Millard as his band finish playing ‘Le Garage’ – the first song from their career-defining debut. If there’s an air of nostalgia in the room, it’s because tonight these heroes of the Sunderland music scene are playing ‘The Futureheads’ in its entirety. The official reason for this trip down memory lane is to celebrate the tenth birthday of The Cluny which, in a single decade, has become one of the North-East’s most important music venues. But The Futureheads don’t need an excuse to resurrect their first record, because unlike many of 2004’s other indie debuts, theirs can still be considered a peerless 36 minutes of modern British guitar music. You don’t hear anyone saying that about Razorlight.
We all remember the words to ‘Decent Days And Nights’, but watching the quartet play it eight years on, you have to wonder whether a stranger pop single was released in 2004. Has there even been one released since? One that’s as impossible to keep up with as this, yet somehow still made it onto a Rock Band computer game? As the record is rebuilt before your eyes, you’re filled with questions like these. Can you even comprehend an odder trilogy of contemporary indie rock tracks than ‘The City Is Here For You To Use’, ‘First Day’ and ‘He Knows’? Probably not. Did you ever imagine that ‘Man Ray’ could still sound this exciting almost a decade later? No way.
‘Hounds Of Love’ is the weirdest of the lot, because who could have guessed that four Mackem post-punkers’ wonky Kate Bush cover could become an indie disco staple, a festival anthem, and an all-time-classic cover up there with Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’? No one – which is why people still love The Futureheads all these years later.