Tickets are now available to see 30 Years of The Garage: Futureheads + Special Guests!
Emerging as part of the “angular movement” of post-punk-inspired bands from the U.K. in the early 2000s, the Futureheads soon proved they had a distinctive take on that tradition. While the influence of Wire, XTC, and Gang of Four was unmistakable in their spiky guitars and concise songwriting, the intricacy of their music — which included four-part harmonies and unconventional song structures — was all their own. On 2004’s The Futureheads (which included their exhilarating cover of Kate Bush‘s “Hounds of Love”), their unlikely but winning mix of rawness and sophistication offered a breath of fresh air. As time went on, they gave this sound different nuances, adding intimacy to it on 2006’s News and Tributes, streamlining it on 2008’s This Is Not the World and stripping it bare on 2012’s a cappella album Rant. Despite taking a hiatus that for much of the 2010s, the Futureheads proved the joyous vitality of their music was still there when they returned with 2019’s Powers.
The Futureheads’ founding members were vocalist/guitarist Barry Hyde, vocalist/bassist David “Jaff” Craig, and drummer Peter Brewis, all of whom met while studying at City of Sunderland College. Hyde and Brewis were tutors at a lottery-funded organization called the Sunderland City Detached Youth Project, which aimed to get kids off the street by having them play music instead. The band — whose members were still in their teens themselves — used the building as a practice space, along with other area groups. The rest of the Futureheads’ lineup was also culled from the Sunderland City Detached Youth Project: vocalist/guitarist Ross Millard and Hyde’s younger brother Dave, who eventually took over drum duty from Brewis (who later formed Field Music).
Though the band played its first show in December 2000 at a cricket and rugby club, they took their time to record; their debut EP, Nul Book Standard, appeared on the Project Cosmonaut label in late 2002. The Futureheads followed it with two more EPs on Fantastic Plastic in 2003: that March’s 123 Nul and August’s First Day, which reached number 58 on the U.K. Singles Chart. After signing to 679, the band worked with Paul Epworth and Gang of Four‘s Andy Gill on their debut album. Arriving in September 2004, The Futureheads won acclaim for the band’s precise harmonies and angular riffs. In February 2005, their cover of Kate Bush‘s “Hounds of Love” hit number eight on the U.K. Singles Chart and was later named NME’s Single of the Year.