Swaggering egotistical front men who think they have the musical aptitude of Jimi Hendrix and maintain the type of self obsessive vanity that would fit in nicely in a Hugh Grant chick flick happen to be a pet hate of mine. It wouldnt be nearly so bad if the current music scene wasnt filled to the brim with these testosterone laden characters who dont just think theyre the bees and the ees, but every other letter in the alphabet too.
So its refreshing when you find a band who are modest, highly entertaining and have a front man that cares more about the music and his fans than he does about having a handful of cash and a small crowd of underage groupies wearing expensive band merchandise. Futuro are one of a growing number of brilliant, diverse and interesting bands to emerge from Glasgow in the past few years and if last weeks gig at King Tuts is anything to go by then we should be hearing a lot more from them in the not to distant future.
Although Futuro are virtual newcomers to the music scene, their original guise as Driverdown saw the band sign to Glasgow label Dicelines Records and produce one album called Getting It Out The Way. However that was 2004, and although Driverdown are not quite gone and buried yet the three piece are focusing on their new musical direction, aka Futuro.
While Driverdown excelled at experimental electronica-rock, something the band affectionately referred to as trip-rock (not to be confused with trip-hop, which is an equally confusing diverge of musical genres) Futuro seem to prefer their music straighter edged. Whilst outlining the differences between Driverdown and Futuro, McKellan explained that their previous band had a more Electronic feel that could be likened more to Portishead than Futuros rockier mould. There was definitely a slice of Radiohead and Massive Attack in Driverdowns material that doesnt seem to have made the transition to Futuro. However, this is in no way detrimental to their new found image.
Tonights opener The Same Thing is a born dance floor filler, complete with a bass line that would make Franz Ferdinand itch with envy and an awesome riff that could quite happily make the cross over from indie anthem to dance floor filler. Its easy to draw similarities between Futuros eye for a tune and the type of guitar fuelled pop rock that We are Scientists are so good at creating.
As far as influences go McKellan mentioned that they had recently been listening to the likes of Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand and have then taken the production side of that, the spiky guitars in particular and then mixed it in with a grittier, more rock endorsed sound to create their own unique style.
Futuro havent made the mistake of alienating themselves (and probably their fan base) by completely forgetting their former selves either. Instead their electronic side remains just underneath the surface of their music, working as a dance accompaniment without transforming them into an irritating 70s dance rock band; El Presidente anyone?
The reaction so far has been amazing beams McKellan. Despite bassist Graemes (McKellans brother incidentally) failed attempt to start a clap along, the crowd were blatantly warming to the band. Futuro had raised the bar a stage higher than the previous band Marwood, who were not altogether a bad act but had lacked the stage presence and charisma that Futuro had in abundance.
McKellan was grounded enough to realise that the success of Futuro lies as much with the fans as it does with the actual music. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to like us. We dont think a band at our level should be charging people for CDs. The band distributed plenty of their two track demos and used the fail safe persuasion technique of handing out home made cookies to potential fans. McKellan tried to claim a bit of the credit for making the cookies but you got the impression his girlfriend had more than a helping hand.
One of the best strings to Futuros bow is the strength of McKellans voice which fits the bands dance rock mould perfectly, and is best exploited on the fantastic Rushing. Having played with each other for so long Futuro have the added benefit of being well organised whilst retaining a fresh feel. This is mainly thanks to great tight drumming and faultless bass playing. I invite you to try and fault the band on their musical ability.
Futuro are a joy to watch, and enjoy some great banter with the crowd. McKellan got the biggest cheer of the night for announcing hes unemployed, and just proving how comfortable he is with playing to The King Tuts crowd he decided to chill out properly and take off his shoes.
With bands like Dresden, Thee Comrades and The Cinematics all adding to a Glasgow music scene that is both creative and inspiring Futuro could be leading a second wave of Scottish bands to follow the success enjoyed by Franz Ferdinand and Idlewild.
The banded ended with the mesmerising and perhaps quite appropriate Easy Money, and if they keep performing this good then thats exactly what they will be making.
Set list for the King Tuts show:-
The Same Thing
Lost In The Mess
Act Your Age