July 2, 2006

That Was The Show That Was: The Futureheads / French Kicks

The Futureheads and French Kicks at The Paradise in Boston, 20060701So thanks to the kind folks over at Vagrant we were able to cruise over the river with H-Dawg from Accounts Receivable to catch the Futureheads/French Kicks show last night. Each act delivered a superlative set, the air conditioning was raining down mercilessly, and we had prime balcony perches right next to the guy running the lights, who was also kind enough to give us his copy of the set list posted supra. We knew woefully little about the French Kicks before the show but we were very favorably impressed. Sadly for you, last night was the final night of the bands' tour together, so if you didn't see them on this tour yet there's not much point in our telling you to get right out and see 'em. Although, close readers of the Internets might have seen this posting at BrooklynVegan indicating that The Futureheads, despite mourning the woeful loss of their national team in yesterday's World Cup match to Portugal and despite insisting that they were heading "back across the pond" following last night's show, will allegedly head down to NYC for a "surprise" show Monday night.

Analysis: The Futureheads were so slick and so tight that they really seemed to be entertainers "doing an act" rather than an indie rock act merely performing. Even so, and despite what amounted to the incessant pummelling of their similarly paced tunes (one song was jokingly referred to as "the slow song," which was pretty funny), the band's intoxicating pep, deftly delivered harmonies and witty personalities enhanced the clinical delivery of their affecting pop. This is the kind of band that smiles when they play, something we may not have seen since we saw the Bouncing Souls play our small liberal arts college in 1995.

The clear highlight of the night was the set closer "Man Ray," which is not only our favorite Futureheads jam, but also seemed to be the favorite of those attendees who felt it necessary to plead for their favorite to be played sporadically throughout the searing set. Since we and H-Dawg had a clear view of the set list all night, we knew we'd ultimately be getting some satisfaction on that front. The band also delivered a weapons-grade version of "Stupid And Shallow," a stirring take on "Hounds of Love" and the sweaty one-two punch of the encores "Decent Days And Nights" and "Carnival Kids" was undeniable. According to the Futureheads web site the band will be back in the U.S. come August, and we heartily recommend you get out to see them as they continue to support the recent release of their sophomore set News And Tributes. And we no less heartily endorse the French Kicks, whose records we are going to go search out used (we're cheap) on Half.com momentarily. Finally, here's The Futureheads' "Man Ray" from the band's self-titled 2004 effort.

UPDATE: Flickr user Goodmj3 has some photos for the show posted here.

The Futureheads -- "Man Ray" -- The Futureheads [buy it!]
[right click and save as]


Brad said...

Totally agree on all accounts. Felt the exact same way about the show, and I'm glad I made it out...

Got a pretty good recording... should have it up in a week or two. First up is Buffalo Tom, then Beirut, then the F-heads. Lots of audio editing in my future...

jbreitling said...

Looking forward to hearing that Buffalo Tom. I didn't know that new record was forthcoming until I read your guest post. I was really pleased with the Crown Victoria stuff. I am still not a Beirut beleiver, but I look forward to your recordings to see if something there can grab me.