– A cappella/Acoustic show –
Sunderland post punk band the Futureheads have announced a new show for Whelan’s September 7th, in support of their new A cappella album ‘Rant’.
Tickets priced €15.00 go on-sale this Thursday, July 26th from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide, and online at www.ticketmaster.ie
‘The Futureheads have been together for a long time now. And we have the right to do something different.’
No one could argue with Barry Hyde about that. In just over eleven years, Barry (lead vocals, guitar), his brother Dave (drums, vocals), Ross Millard (guitar, vocals) and Jaff (bass, vocals) have established themselves as one of Britain’s most thrilling and durable guitar bands. They’ve made four albums – the explosive, barbed The Futureheads (2004); the elegantly miserable News And Tributes (2006); the re-energised, celebratory This Is Not The World (2008) and the expansive, troubled The Chaos (2010) – that make for a varied but unified back catalogue.
They’ve played hundreds of shows where their taut energy and barely-controlled fury blends with the natural audience rapport of Good Men, and makes sweaty, pogoing punters into FFF’s (Futureheads Fans Forever, of course). They’ve released the two most recent of their albums on their own Nul label, proving that DIY can and will make a band bigger, as well as reviving the true spirit of something called ‘indie’, something that used to actually mean something. And they’ve even, along with friends and neighbours Field Music and Frankie & The Heartstrings, established the Sunderland accent as a fresh and vital component in the DNA of the pop vocal.
So The Futureheads have earned the right to do anything they like. As long as they don’t, you know, throw out all their instruments. Make a record with, like, no instruments at all. Can you imagine? That would be stupid.
The Futureheads have made a record with no instruments at all. It is called Rant, and it is strictly a cappella.
‘If we were gonna carry on making music,’ Ross Millard explains, ‘we needed to change it up. Making another Futureheads record as per usual wasn’t something that appealed to us. We’ve always been a four-part harmony group; it’s been a massive part of the genetics of this band. ’The eureka moment came straight after a radio show, as Barry explains. ‘A couple of years ago we did an a cappella version of a Kelis song called Acapella for the Radio 1 Live Lounge. And it was such a buzz to perform live on the radio just with four voices. There’s nothing to hide behind.’ Having made the decision to gamble, The ‘Heads had no intention of chucking Rant together hastily. Research was necessary. ‘We didn’t sit down and say, “the record will be great if we do these particular songs”’, Ross explains. ‘It’s been a gradual, protracted process. We were in and out of the studio throughout the whole of 2011… although it was a small amount of studio time in terms of hours. In that time we educated ourselves on a cappella.’
Rant also contains a cappella arrangements of four classics from the Futureheads’ back catalogue. Barry explains the choices. ‘We did Thursday because it immediately came to mind. It’s quite an orchestral, symphonic song so I knew it would work a cappella. And I think the lament side of Thursday is quite lovely. Robot is one of our classic songs and the arrangement creates this beautiful, polyphonic, constantly moving piece of music. Man Ray we chose because it’s one of our most berserk songs. The human voice is so expressive and you can create some amazing chords and rhythms. We chose songs that lent themselves to that.’
And then there’s the three stunning versions of pop classics. The Kelis tune picked itself after the Live Lounge performance. But the Black Eyed Peas and Sparks covers stem from the band’s surprising obsessions.
‘We did The Black-Eyed Peas one,’ says Ross, ‘because Barry wouldn’t stop talking about it and singing that particular melody throughout the whole of the The Chaos tour. I’m really proud of that one because it’s got more chops to it than a lot of the other ones. To me, it’s like dubstep without the beats. As for Sparks, I first heard that song in Barry and Dave’s parents’ kitchen just as we were starting The Futureheads. It’s stuck with us for quite a long time because, in the early days of the band, Jaff said, in an interview with The NME: “Sparks’ No. 1 Song In Heaven always gets me in the mood to go out clubbing.” This sounded so sad that we’ve never let him forget it.’
“A Futureheads fan who doesn’t get Rant is not a Futureheads fan. This version of The Futureheads has always been there. We’re bringing to the fore what we’re really about: a unification, a gang mentality, which is in the balance between our voices and our personalities. And on Rant we’re pushing that right into your face. We’ve stumbled across tricks as we’ve made Rant which are so powerful and which no one has ever done before. Just because this is an a cappella album doesn’t mean to say that the songs are slow or passive. They’re still in-your-face, slightly mad, aggressive. They’re still The Futureheads.’
Tickets for The Futureheads @ Whelan’s September 7th go on-sale this Thursday July 26th at 9am.
The Futureheads new single ‘Beeswing’ is out now.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue (FREE ENTRY, 12am).