Friday, July 28th, 2006
Favours For Favours
Bringing along a so-called buzz band along to open for you on tour can be a two-edged sword. On one hand, it makes your show that much more attractive to the hipster crowd and surely helps attendance but on the other hand, you run the risk of half the crowd leaving before your set or even worse, being upstaged by the support (assuming the buzz is well-founded). That was a risk that Sunderland, UK’s Futureheads seemed willing to take when they invited Minneapolis blog darlings Tapes’N’Tapes along to open a leg of their North American tour in support of sophomore effort News And Tributes.
The Tapes’N’Tapes bandwagon is not one that I’ve bought a ticket for yet. I tried to catch them at SxSW earlier this year but the buzz was already strong enough at that point that the club was beyond full and spilling out into the street. I’ve heard The Loon a couple times and it didn’t really make a huge impression one way or another. In other words, this would be their big chance to impress – and they did. All the press that compares them to Pavement is really misleading – yeah, there’s some similarity in the elliptical lyricism and guitar work, but whereas Pavement really did what they could to earn their title of slacker kings, Tapes’N’Tapes were anything but slack – quite the contrary, they were tight and taut and more than a little fierce. There was bounding around the stage, neck veins bulging, tubas wielded with reckless abandon… All around pretty impressive. I will have to give the album another listen – maybe sometimes bloggers get it right. Who’d have guessed?
I’d call myself a mild fan of the Futureheads. Got and enjoy the first record, haven’t gotten around to hearing the second one yet. But I’ve heard they put on a good show so what the hey. The bar had been set fairly high by the openers but luckily for the ‘Heads (and the audience) they were up to the task. With their super-tight, four-part harmonies, jaggy guitars and boundless energy, the Futureheads kept up an exhaustingly uptempo pace over the course of their hour and change set. I was reminded why I don’t play The Futureheads all that much – it makes me tired! But the band were gregarious and entertaining, and even the “Hounds Of Love” audience singalong, though cheesy, was fun. The crowd, at least those that didn’t leave after the openers, were into it and I daresay a loverly, if sweaty and wearying, time was had by all.
Gig photos here. Media below, and also check out this AOL session with the Futureheads and Minnesota Public Radio session with the Tapes. Also, Bradley’s Almanac has the Futureheads show in Boston earelier this month MP3-ed and ready to download. Exclaim! also has a piece with Tapes’N’Tapes where they dispute the whole Pavement thing and The Chicago Tribune gets head ‘Head Barry Hyde to predict the future. With his head. Torontoist has also got an expansive (if less precognitive) interview with Barry.
MP3: The Futureheads – “Skip To The End”
MP3: The Futureheads – “Worry About It Later”
MP3: Tapes’N’Tapes – “Insistor”
MP3: Tapes’N’Tapes – “Cowbell”
MP3: Tapes’N’Tapes – “Omaha”
Video: The Futureheads – “Skip To The End” (MOV)
Video: The Futureheads – “Worry About It Later” (YouTube)
Video: Tapes’N’Tapes – “Insistor” (Real)
MySpace: The Futureheads
Sloan’s new album Who Taught You To Live Like That will be out September 19 and will apparently clock in at a mighty 29 songs which either means a double album or really short songs. With that many tunes, there’s no excuse to not have the songwriting duties evenly split and that’s what they’ve done – good news for Andrew Scott fans since he was shut out of 2003’s Action Pact. The first single and title track (a Jay Ferguson composition) is streaming on their MySpace and was a free download from iTunes Canada last week.
np – The Delgados / The Complete BBC Peel Sessions