Strathclyde University Students’ Union, Glasgow, Thu 24 Jan
The Futureheads could quite easily have ended up on the rock’n’roll scrap heap when the angular impulse in British guitar music faded circa 2006. In the two years prior, the Sunderland punk four-piece had enjoyed – behind Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party – a rapid rise to stardom on the back of jerky, pointed, Gang of Four-style riffs, that peaked with their storming cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds of Love’ hitting the top ten and being named NME’s single of 2005. As that movement dissipated, however, the band’s second album News and Tributes sold relatively poorly, despite positive press, resulting in a nasty dispute with their label 679 which eventually saw them dropped.
Serious consideration of a split followed, but the quartet soldiered on, keeping contact with a loyal fan base through MySpace and recording a third album out of their own pockets with Killing Joke’s Martin ‘Youth’ Glover. Provisionally entitled This is Not the World, it’ll reportedly be out in May on Fantastic Plastic Records (whom The Futureheads worked with before signing to 679). In light of bitter anti-major label chat from band members, that would be something of a climbdown considering the imprint’s owners Sanctuary were recently purchased by Big Four behemoth Universal, and self or independent-release seem likelier options.
Either way, if cuts revealed so far – free downloads ‘Broke Up Time’ and ‘Crash’ – are to be believed, it’ll be The Futureheads’ heaviest longplayer to date, touching on Fugazi levels of hardcore intensity. They might get even with the industry yet, although apparently not without getting angry first.