Futures – Manchester Roadhouse

By paul

‘Local support’ Pegasus Bridge start the evening off at the early start time of 18:20. I can’t figure out if the band are nervous or what but as a band who’ve played Radio 1’s Big Weekend I’d be surprised. There’s just a lack of energy and emotion evident tonight. I expected more. It’s just not very interesting and with so many decent UK bands breaking through, it’s disappointing. Their single ?Ribena? gets the best reaction, however, like so other many Power Pop/Punk bands the slower song ?Paris? is the most disappointing. A Roadhouse crowd can sometimes be quite tough (They Sink Ships on Not Advised tour, for example) but this isn’t one of those occasions but Pegasus Bridge must do better. 2/5

The Xcerts are the main support and I think it’s a fair comment that not many of the crowd have heard them before. They have a rougher sound than that of Futures and Pegasus but they pack a big punch. Murray in particular never exudes confidence on stage but is excellent throughout. The new album gets a good showing, making up 4 of the 7 songs but there are still some familiar songs on show. ?Crisis In The Slow Lane? is the pick of the older songs and has some of the crowd singing along, whilst new single ?Young (Belane)? is the high point. They are on good form throughout despite never exuding confidence. ?I See Things Differently? predictably finishes things off, although Murray bouncing himself off the crowd as he finishes in the middle of the floor at the end is not necessarily a predictable end. It is a memorable one though. 4/5

Futures soon follow and they’ve come a long way since playing this stage back in February. It’s good to see tonight a sell out and few would have left disappointed with what they saw. Right from the opener ?16? the crowd are in full voice and Futures have them in the palm of their hands. This is an improvement to that of Slam Dunk but despite being on a major label I still think there are other UK bands better live. For example, the goading of the crowd, asking them to ‘beat London’ is over done and feels a little forced on occasions. Don’t get me wrong though this is still a good performance and with the songs at their disposal the future is very bright. We’re treated to a mixture of old and new songs, including the single ?Oxygen? which didn’t get as much crowd attention as the rest of the set but this will likely be short-lived. This included Sal Paradise which followed and was my favourite. The band appear to be enjoying themselves immensely at the moment and the Roadhouse crowd share that emotion. Never was this more apparent than with ?The Boy Who Cried Wolf? which finished off a show full of promise for the future whilst still showing there is room for improvement. 4/5