King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow on Thursday 2 February 2006

photos of this show
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 wouldn’t be nearly so bad if the current music scene wasn’t filled to the brim with these testosterone laden characters who don’t just think they’re the bees and the ee’s, but every other letter in the alphabet too.

So it’s 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 Futuro’s rockier mould. There was definitely a slice of Radiohead and Massive Attack in Driverdown’s material that doesn’t seem to have made the transition to Futuro. However, this is in no way detrimental to their new found image.

Tonight’s 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. It’s easy to draw similarities between Futuro’s 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 haven’t 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 70’s dance rock band; El Presidente anyone?

“The reaction so far has been amazing” beams McKellan. Despite bassist Graeme’s (McKellan’s 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 don’t think a band at our level should be charging people for CD’s.” 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 Futuro’s bow is the strength of McKellan’s 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 he’s unemployed, and just proving how comfortable he is with playing to The King Tut’s 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 that’s exactly what they will be making.

Set list for the King Tut’s show:-
The Same Thing
Lost In The Mess
Slow Motion
Act Your Age
Easy Money

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article by: Scott Johnson

published: 14/02/2006 09:23

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