March 6, 2005 – Crocodile Café – Seattle, WA
by Ashley Graham
Not just any band can follow a Queen classic onto the stage. As “Bohemian Rhapsody” ends it seems highly unlikely that even the headliner would be able to maintain the excitement that the song has incited in the hyped crowd. It may seem presumptuous of them, but it’s fairly obvious that The Futureheads know they can match that excitement. And lucky for them, the crowd soon knows it too.
In a set lasting just under an hour, The Futureheads start with the lead track off of their debut self-titled album, “Le Garage,” and continue to blast through nearly every one of the album’s songs, throwing in a couple of equally energetic earlier gems “Piece of Crap” and “A Picture of Dorian Gray.”
Listening to this band’s album might not allow for a clear understanding of what they have to offer, but the live show does just that. These boys are all about vocals. All four of them have their own mic and while guitarist Barry Hyde leads most of the songs he is complemented in nearly every moment by an accompanying voice, most noticeably those of guitarist, and sometimes “lead” singer, Ross Millard and bassist Jaff. All of these voices combine with precision to recreate the songs on the album in a new but familiar way, the same sound but more excitement.
There seems to be a never-ending supply of energy within The Futureheads and it comes through in nearly every element of their live show. The vocals are fresh, the songs are fun, and they even manage something often missed by most bands; each member is engaged and excited.
And the real stars of the show are the individual members of the band. The Futureheads is comprised of four guys in their early twenties who are still energized by the idea of performing. Whether it’s Barry Hyde’s mid-song facial expressions, Ross Millard’s jokes, Jaff’s responses to those jokes, or drummer David Hyde’s resulting chuckle, the band makes the show entertaining by not just being good musicians, but by having personality and showing it. They don’t seem overwhelmingly concerned with self-image or being cool, and they instead do what they should in simply putting on a good show.
The banter in between songs is funny, the boys are charming, and the music is great. Perhaps they put it best themselves near the end of the set when Ross and Barry tried to characterize the night’s festivities:
“Tonight’s better than last time and last time was great.”
“What’s better than great?”