THERE’S not many modern artists who could down their electronic instruments with success.
But Sunderland’s The Futureheads have proved they can tackle acoustic with aplomb.
After massive demand for their two homecoming shows in the intimate setting of Sunderland Minster, the four-piece gently eased it up a notch to the lofty heights of Durham Cathedral. The gig was part of the city’s Streets Summer Festival and saw about 800 eager music fans crammed into the pews of the historic cathedral’s beautiful Galilee Chapel.
They opened up with their version of Richard Thompson’s Beeswing, due to be released as their latest single and wound their tightly-knit harmonies through an acapella cover version, revisits of their older material and rousing drinking songs.
Despite no booze being allowed within the imposing stone walls of the chapel, traditional singalong The Old Dun Cow saw voices lifted in the crowd, with its tale of a burning pub and its “paralytic drunks”.
And there was also a nod to the track which sparked off the band’s enthusiasm for acoustic and latest album, Rant – a cover of Kelis’ upbeat anthem Acapella, which they covered for Radio One’s Live Lounge.
Pop act The Black Eyed Peas were also given a haunting makeover as Meet Me Halfway sounded up into the rafters and, as always, a foray into their back catalogue, with Beginning of the Twist and Hounds of Love both given an acoustic reworking.
Frontman Barry kept up the banter with bandmates Ross, Jaff and Dave, throughout the 75-minute set, but many rows deep, it had to be the music which did the talking for us and happily it did – loudly, clearly and without electronics.
l South Shields singer Natasha Haws and Mackem lad Martin Longstaff, aka The Lake Poets, both provided outstanding support sets, proving there’s still a rich vein of musical talent to be tapped in the North East.