The Futureheads And Dutch Uncles: Live At The Empire In Middlesbrough On Saturday 1st May 2010 And The Futureheads New Album “the Chaos”.

“No one with a conscience votes Conservative” (Norman Tebbit)

Firstly, The Empire in Boro. What a fantastic venue. If you haven’t been get yourself there. Built as a music hall in 1897 it has been transformed since 1991 back to its former glory; great views, great decor, great atmosphere and tonight 2 great bands. ( Ian Brown, amongst others, is coming soon.

First up tonight was a band that I’d heard the name of but not anything by; Dutch Uncles. From Manchester and they’ve been around a while (2004). Once you get over the singers choice of shirts and the weird Ian Curtis type dance shapes he throws they’re actually very good. They began by sounding very 8os; XTC, Associates (the voice, I think) Buzzcocks and at times they reminded me of Echo and the Bunnymen. All these things are good in case you were wondering. More modern comparisons would be with Wild Beasts. Tight sound, ringing guitars and a charasmatic front man. The crowd looked non-plussed to begin with but soon warmed to them as they belted out tune after tune. They have had various releases including an album back in 2008. Their new single, The Ink, is out on the 31st of May and it was one of the highlights of the set. I was going to purchase some of their stuff at the end but got side tracked (see later in the review) by the time we left, the merchandise stall was gone. I hope to see them in Newcastle at The Tyne on July the 31st and give them some of my hard earned cash then. In the mean time they are still touring the country with The Futureheads and don’t forget to buy the single. (

Next up is one of my favourite bands from the past 7 or 8 years. I’ve been hooked since the 1-2-3-nul! ep from 2003 and I managed to see them playing bottom of the bill on King Tuts Wah Wah Hut stage at T-in-the-Park that summer. I must have seen them a dozen times since and they are still great. Their new album  The Chaos was released recently on their own NUL Records. They open tonights show with the opening track from the album; “5,4,3,2,1 Let’s Go………..” The Chaos kicks the whole venue into life. A great track and one that has all the key elements that make the Futureheads what they are; great guitars, shouty chorus and easy to remember lyrics that you can join in the first time you hear the song. This is maybe why they haven’t really done as well as a lot of us expected. The new album is very good but most of the tracks could have appeared on any of their previous albums without too much trouble. For this reason they remind me mostly of The  Ramones. For the loyal fans every tune is greeted like a long lost friend but for the un-initiated it probably sounds like they are playing the same song over and over again. The Ramones made a whole career out of this and are still loved to this day, so I don’t think Ross and the boys should worry too much. They spend the whole set jumping from old to new and back again; early stuff such as Carnival Kids and Le Garage are mixed with I can do that and The Connector from the new album. The new single Heartbeat Song gets a rapturous reception. And so it should. Probably their strongest single for a long time. At the close of their set they play their big hit; Hounds of Love. They get the audience to join in with the “Woh  Hohos” which in any one elses hands would sound corny but they carry it off superbly. The warmth from the audience is evident in everything they do. They even allow Barry Hyde to wear the most outrageous clothes. Thankfully he has stopped wearing the ridiculous bow tie!! He still looks a bit like David Vanian (from The Damned) and could do with a new jacket as the tails is just not the look, sorry!!! Then they are gone. Hopefully I will see them again soon as they are an excellent live band. I love the new album like I have loved the previous three. They don’t really change but hey, do we want them to?                                               

Why the quote at the begining you ask? Well at the end of the show I return to find my wife talking to the local Tory candidate and his entourage. What they are doing canvassing for votes in a night club in Middlesbrough on a Saturday night is anyones guess. Needless to say I wont be voting for them. The northernline is not political so I wont be asking/telling you which way to vote. Just make sure you do vote.

By peter on May 3, 2010

Check out all the pics

No Comments » RSS Comment Feed

No comments yet.

Leave a comment