The Futureheads - Cambridge Junction
It's been an odd twelve months for The Futureheads, coming off the back of some impressive praise for their debut record, they've found reaction to their follow-up a little lukewarm (not from me however) and have now found themselves dropped from their record label. However, on a cold and blustery night in Cambridge, they treat a wild and ecstatic crowd to a blistering live set.
Before that all kicks off though, we've got The Enemy to contend with. There's been a fair amount of buzz around these northern scallies, but I'm not entirely sure why. They plough the well worn furrow of post-Britpop indie rock, the obvious influences of Oasis and Blur as well as a heavy nod to The Jam. In fact, think of The Jam but with a Manchester swagger... but without anything to back it up.
After that rather lacklustre set, we're treated to the excellent Maccabees. The pick of the bands from the recent NME Rock N Roll Riot tour (they certainly destroyed the abysmal Fratellis live), they've been around for a number of years now, but have only recently managed to put some meaningful music together. They have an energy on stage that captures the crowd, their music jumps around between the more obvious jangly guitar pop of Blur but also takes in the post-punk leanings of Gang Of Four and, with Orlando Weeks, they have a vocalist able to deliver the punchy lyrics in turns of howling yelps and longing drawls. Recent single First Love is a classic post-modern love song of contrasting emotions and young love, the crowd moshing around and reacting to the energy the band put into their set. These guys are going to be massive next year.
With the crowd well and truly warmed up, The Futureheads take to the stage to a huge ovation. The band reacts to it instantly, crashing through a fantastic version of Area to kick start their set. Playing songs mainly from their recent album News & Tributes, the evening thrashes between post-punk Gang Of Four angular guitar numbers like Decent Days And Nights and Yes/No to the more straight forward punk-rock of Worry About It Later and Skip To The End. Whether it's a mixture of the crowd’s reaction to them or their new found freedom having been dropped by their label, the music seems to flow easily from the band this evening, they look incredibly relaxed and yet the music is tight, the clattering riffs and vocal harmonies that characterise them are pitch perfect and clear. They still, however, possess a drummer who looks like he'd rather be elsewhere, but the rest of the band have a presence on stage, jumping around and thrashing the life out of their guitars.
Their set may only last an hour, but it's given the crowd an incredible adrenaline rush with continues with their encore featuring the crashing Return Of The Berserker and finishes with a ringing of guitars and clattering of drums. Everyone shuffles out of the venue into the cold, windy night with smiles on their faces and a hope that we've not seen the last of these guys.