The Futureheads

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“This is the first time we’ve ever played in Brooklyn – a life changing experience perhaps,” joked Futureheads guitarist Ross Millard, setting the tone for the night as the band launched into “The Chaos,” the first and title track from the quartet’s newest album.

Headlining an album release show for Dovecote Records, the lads from Sunderland, in the north of England, were full of humorous hijinks as they rocked through a high energy set of punchy but melodic tunes. Lead vocalist and guitarist Barry Hyde and bassist David “Jaff” Craig kept the audience on their toes between sets with hilarious song intros and anecdotes. Though drummer Dave Hyde was the only one not spilling witty banter, he was nevertheless fun to watch, with moves that were at times almost robotic except for the subtle but sexy shoulder sway.

The Futureheads’ set included all but three songs from The Chaos (their fourth) as well as old fan favorites. On “Hounds of Love” (a brave Kate Bush cover) Millard and Craig revved up the crowd for audience participation (“Oh Oh Oh” on one side of the room vs. “Oh Oh” on the other), while “Decent Days and Nights” had Barry showing off his best dance moves with some fancy footwork, after instructing the crowd to “Put your dancing shoes on for this one!” Millard introduced “Meanwhile” as “a song about being boring!”

Millard took on lead vocal duties for a few songs, including “Stop The Noise,” and all of the band members contributed on backing vocals and harmonies, leading a fan standing near me in the audience to shout, “Their f’ng harmonies are insane!”

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In another very funny moment, Barry, reminiscent of a schoolteacher threatening a rowdy classroom, demanded that the audience remain completely quiet for the a cappella start on “Jupiter” or else there would be no encore. Needless to say, everyone complied. The three-song encore included another new gem, “Sun Goes Down,” which Barry introduced as one that “can only be described as a vampire love song,” and the band finished off the night with an old crowd favorite, “Man Ray.”

This was my first live experience with The Futureheads. At the start of the show, Millard had predicted that it would be “Apocalyptic.” Almost. The highly entertaining show featured a stellar performance from band and was “Everything I hoped it would be,” as another fan said in the end.

Hooray For Earth

Second on the bill was Hooray For Earth, who performed a charming set of Sixties influenced songs with a vibe that lies somewhere between sunny and psychedelic (think the Beach Boys, the Mamas and The Papas, The Beatles, Brian Eno), a melodic blend of guitars and synthesizers. Lead by New York-based singer/guitarist Noel Heroux, Hooray For Earth also marked the release of a new EP, Momo (Dovecote), all of which was included in the set. Momo was co-produced by Heroux and Josh Ascalon, who performed with the band, playing rototoms throughout the set.

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Songs included the lovely “Get Home” and “Rolling/Nectarine,” with Jessica and Cristi Jo Zambri joining the band onstage for the latter. Hooray For Earth closed the set with “Surrounded By Your Friends.”

The Static Jacks

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Fittingly, the warm up for the evening was The Static Jacks, who performed a brief set of garage-infused songs with a stated American punk influence (X, The Replacements), including the rather catchy “My Parents Lied.” The five-piece New Jersey band has been gaining notoriety through numerous performances in the New York area and will be supporting The Futureheads on their current East Coast tour. –Teresa Sampson, Photos by Tear-n Tan

 
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