Music Review: Bombay Bicycle Club and The Futureheads

johnmcga
By johnmcga Last edited 91 months ago
Music Review: Bombay Bicycle Club and The Futureheads

barry_hyde_futureheads.jpg

The annual free Apple marketing ploy jamboree of gigs that is the iTunes Festival is well underway at The Roundhouse. We popped along to a couple of nights this week to see how it's going so far.

18 July: Bombay Bicycle ClubBombay Bicycle Club took a laid back attitude at the start of this Sunday night gig, pulling up some chairs for a few quiet numbers. They've been playing acoustically in churches lately, but the approach didn't really work in the cavernous Roundhouse, making little impact on the young crowd.The clue's in the name: this is the iTunes Festival, and bands need to play a festival set to get noticed. Although Bombay Bicycle Club's recent acoustic album Flaws has garnered some impressive plaudits, any delicate moments in the softly-softly version of Dust on the Ground were lost in the general hubbub.Thankfully, the Crouch End four-piece soon switched to electric guitars, picking up the pace, drowning out the chattering crowd and sparking a bit of life in the kids down front.The upbeat, rolling, Evening / Morning provided the set's high point, but ultimately they lacked the boundless energy we've seen during previous performances. Lead singer Jack Steadman didn't seem entirely up for it either, a hint of flatness creeping in to his voice. Maybe that's what comes of playing on Sunday night.19 July: The FutureheadsThe ever-reliable Northern Line meant we arrived at the Roundhouse just as Frank Turner's support slot was ending on Monday night, and the crowd seemed to reduce in size as the Billy Bragg inspired folk-punk singer and all-round nice guy finished his set. More fool them, because if there's one thing you're pretty much guaranteed from The Futureheads, it's some crowd pleasing.Sure enough, the Mackem art-rockers looked intent on enjoying themselves. Old favourite Decent Days and Nights popped up early on, and recent bubblegum single Heartbeat Song was introduced as a tune about how "first love can fuck you up". That's the sort of optimism we like.The urgent, spiky, precise guitars of Hounds of Love carried through to an encore which saw bassist Jaff necking a pint with a huge grin on his face before playing out with Man Ray. One exaggerated pause for applause and one last blast of urgency later and they were gone. They might not be the band of the moment, but they still put on a show.The iTunes Festival continues until the end of July. (Image: Barry Hyde of The Futureheads.)

Last Updated 21 July 2010