The Futureheads raise the roof with home city show just days after release of their sixth studio album Powers
Sunderland’s favourite musical sons, The Futureheads, rocked their hometown with a gig which felt like a celebration of all that’s good about Wearside.
The Mackem quartet, comprised of brothers Barry and Dave Hyde alongside Ross Millard and David “Jaff” Craig, released their sixth studio album “Powers” earlier this week.
The LP marks the band’s return to guitar music after nine years, and their first album of any kind since the group’s excellent acapella-led experiment “Rant” in 2012.
A packed-out Bonded Warehouse provided a picturesque riverside setting most befitting as revellers of all ages thickened a bustling crowd.
The lads entered the stage through the throng to raucous applause, looking visibly delighted to be back playing music amongst their own.
Opening with the energetic “Yes/No” from the band’s 2006 album “News & Tributes” was a masterstroke, one which jolted the bustling mob into life.
A Sunderland debut for the catchy and relatable “Good Night Out” received warm reviews as the band thrashed out classics “Decent Days and Nights” and “Skip to the End” alongside fresh new album banger “Jekyll”.
Though the best rendition amongst a stellar set came in the form of “Meantime” - the band’s 2004 fast-tempo, first album thought provoker.
Written - as lead singer Barry put it - about those ‘awkward conversations’ people used to have in Pzazz (now Illusions and formerly Passion). Now, we can all relate to that - can’t we?
After an extremely short-lived encore, The Futureheads bounced back onto the stage, rounding off with “Heartbeat Song” and, of course, fan-favourite and Kate Bush cover “Hounds of Love”.
I first saw The Futureheads live as a 10-year-old with my mam at Glastonbury 2005. The band, at the start of their musical journey after the release of their debut album the previous year, amazed me. They really were from Sunderland, they really talked with the same accent as I did and they sounded astronomical.
15-years on from that self-titled debut LP - which created a memorable hype in the city by the way - the band remains one of us, having gained a loyal army of Mackem followers of all ages, shapes and sizes.
One gig-goer, after bagging one of the band members’ sharpie marked setlist said: "19-year-old me would have taken this to Independent, covered it in cider then swapped it with someone else in the smoking area for a lighter.
"29-year-old me is going to put this in the bathroom."
In an era of social media spats, narcissism, trolling and polarised politics, it’s nice to see a The Futureheads still inspiring fans with fresh unity, passion and a top-notch new album. A truly heavenly homecoming.
“All we wanted to be was the best band in Sunderland” – read more about The Futureheads reforming here.