And I’m not saying that just because today is when I’m due to fly back home from Barbados….it’s actually more to do with the scary fact that I had a long overdue re-listen to the debut album by The Futureheads and couldn’t compute in my head that it was released as far back as 2004.

The sound this lot made I’ve always felt was a notch above your average indie-guitar band. They reminded me a lot of early XTC thanks to the catchiness of the songs, complete with sing-a-long choruses, particularly the debut single First Day. And there is something quite beguiling about the fact that the vocals are delivered in their local accent – that of the Mackems from Sunderland (which is totally different and distinct from that of the Geordies in Newcastle). Oh and all the songs are superbly short and sharp as well……..

The fact that they came to most people’s attention courtesy of a rather superb cover version of a Kate Bush number was a bit of a double-edged sword. It was seen by some as a bit of a novelty and it totally distracted from the fact that their own compositions were every bit as good as the cover. But it was Hounds of Love that helped take the debut album to #11 in the UK charts in March 2005, a full eight months after if first hit the shops. Here’s the four singles that were lifted from the LP:-

mp3 : The Futureheads – First Day
mp3 : The Futureheads – Decent Days And Nights (radio mix)
mp3 : The Futureheads – Meantime
mp3 : The Futureheads – Hounds Of Love (radio mix)

First Day really deserved to do a lot better than #52. I think it is a cracking bit of indie-pop. As I said above, it’s very reminiscent of early XTC.

Decent Days And Nights was actually a hit twice over, initially in 2004 and again in 2005 when it was re-released as the follow-up to the hit cover. On both occasions it reached #26. Catchy as fuck is about as succinct a way as I can put it.

Meantime sounds like Wire on speed. I can pay it no higher compliment.

As for the cover…..well I’ve always thought the best of them are when a band takes something quite unique when originally released and yet twists it into something that sounds as if they themselves have written and recorded it…..and The Futureheads more than achieve this with Hounds Of Love. I think Ms Bush would have approved.

Here’s a live acoustic version of the cover:-

mp3 : The Futureheads – Hounds Of Love (Live Radio Session)

While here’s a decent enough remix effort:-

mp3 : The Futureheads – Hounds of Love (Mystery Jet’s Pirate Invasion)


2 thoughts on “OH MY, HOW TIME FLIES

  1. I know what you mean, JC. The other day I referred to a song from 2000 as “recent.” I’m not sure the Futureheads were ever able to better this debut. The singles were something special, and I liked A to B a lot too. Hope the trip went well.

  2. When this album came out I was already feeling a bit of XTC withdrawal after the superb career completing Apple Venus Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 Wasp Star. Then this comes along and sates that need while reminding me how very special that particular, quirky, intelligent side of pop is to me.
    There aren’t many albums that are 11 or more years old that get a fairly regular listen to. This is one of them.

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