The Futureheads at the Ambassador. Allow me to make a comparison - I was at Sufjan Stevens
last week, and I suspect a large proportion of the crowd attended because Sufjan is "cool". The same hype somehow escaped The Futureheads. This made for a very special concert.
I nearly forgot to go. I sat in work and checked for any new concerts coming up. The first listing was for the Futureheads. I had forgotten the gig was on. It was that night. This silliness has happened once before
Went home to get the tickets, got news from Emma that she couldn't make it. Went back into town. Walked very quickly to the Ambassador. Tried to sell my spare ticket at the door. The touts were aggressive and rude. This was because I failed to abide by their "shout your own" tout honour code. I disagree with what they do, so I replied to their "queries" in an proportionately confrontational manner. The clinically obese guy with the leathery skin was the rudest. He was also really hard to understand. It was all very Jabba the Hutt...
Went in. Walked right up the front. Watched the Delorentes from this position. They were alright. Nothing to write home about. Nice guitar playing from the curly haired guy.
When the support band left I became disillusioned. I also noticed the large number of young males flocking behind me. My brain quietly realised that the Futureheads was going to be a nuts gig. I was a little wrecked, so I took a large circle of the venue and picked a new space. I moved further forward just before the start. Stopped dead centre, just about the right distance back for relaxation. Ten years ago I would have stayed up front. Alas, now I am ten years older, but at least I was still there.
The Futureheads came on. Cheery bunch. Very friendly. First couple of songs suffered from "sound adapting to venue" syndrome. I nervously ensured myself that it always takes a few minutes to get it right. Three songs in it kicked up a serious degree. On about the fifth song it was violently dramatically perfect. The vocals all settled together, everything else fizzed along just underneath. By this stage the band sounded like the frenzied vocal-heavy machine I wanted them to be. The music maintained this manic pitch for the entire gig. The vocals would get stuck in fiercely repetitive loops and shouts. They sang perfectly, and played perfectly. They got the crowd involved. The crowd were happy to sing along very loudly and shout things at them. The gig was far better than the aforementioned Sufjan event, even though Sufjan is the record I'd choose to play at home. I'll make more of a future effort to play the Futureheads, but they're pretty manic, and I do have that age thing happening (where's the new Interpol album?).
All in all they played a perfect gig. They left at the right time, they came on at the right time. The encore was great too. Crowd participation was wonderful. All the kids got drunk and built themselves a mosh pit. Then they went nuts. It wasn't just jumping up and down, it was flinging themselves off each other. Lots of kids threw beer, one took off his shirt and threw it at Mr. Millard. It hit the mic and spawned banter (re the smell). Security eventually got involved, even though there was no need to. Their involvement just proved distracting and unnecessary. It was also ineffective, as the kids kept jumping violently around right beside them. Poor Sufjan's
crowd stole the inflatable Santas and Supermen. The Futurehead's crowd went mental, screamed, threw things, hit each other, caused trouble, and had an infinitely more fantastic time.
I smiled most of the way through the concert. Generally I was smiling because they were playing so well. They're a shockingly underrated band, but I know they're great, and everyone else in the Ambassador knew they were great as well. They really were fucking great. As good as any other gig I've seen by anyone. Better than most. Another world class band in a small venue...
great drummer - sat on top and made it look like he wasn't playing.
nice jumpers, and a sleeveless one like mine on Mr. Millard.
what a friendly bassist! yes, this was the happiest band I've seen in a while.
I walked back to Charlemont after the gig. Everyone got off the train when Inspectors got on at Milltown. The Inspectors were faking it and got off again.
my other ticket: