Mike Atkinson

The Futureheads – Nottingham Rescue Rooms, Tuesday June 3

Posted in gigs, Nottingham Post, Rescue Rooms by Mike A on June 4, 2008

For Sunderland four-piece The Futureheads, the next few weeks could well be make or break time. Bloodied but unbowed by the cool reception afforded to their second album, the band have re-grouped their energies, bouncing back with a notably stronger follow-up, This Is Not The World. The new album has charted respectably after its first week in the shops, but there is still much ground to be reclaimed if they are to return to the glory days of 2005.

The band’s undeniably impressive strengths were much in evidence at the Rescue Rooms last night. The tight, taut, economic playing displayed a remarkable cohesion and unity of purpose. The riffs were razor sharp, the songs were clear and concise, and the characteristic vocal interplay was strong and punchy. Set opener Decent Days And Nights sounded as fresh as it did four years ago, and their bold reworking of Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love remained a buoyant, boisterous delight.

Nevertheless, you couldn’t help feeling that they have stayed too long within their comfort zone. Yes, recent single The Beginning Of The Twist might be the best thing they’ve done in ages – but none of the new material represented any noticeable development from what has become a dangerously restrictive template. There were no real changes of pace, no variations in mood, no light and shade, and ultimately no sense of any risks being taken.

The Futureheads still have it in them to be so much more than this, but is time running out?

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