Today’s lockdown tracks are picked by Futureheads vocalist and guitarist, Barry Hyde. He is the first of our contributors who has actually recorded some walk out music so, we’ll see if he’s at all biased…
Growing up, what sort of music did you listen to?
Me and my siblings were extremely lucky growing up when it came to music. We were raised on The Beatles, Velvet Underground, Cocteau Twins, John Lee Hooker, Billie Holiday and all sorts of other outstanding musical art. The first band I ever truly loved was probably T. Rex, especially the strange whimsical folky stuff they were doing early on. Not your average primary school choice but it worked perfectly for my mind! I would listen in the dark on a walkman until the batteries began to slow.
Have you played with any of the people you listened to growing up?
Nearly! The Futureheads played Coachella Festival in the US in 2005 and the Cocteau Twins were also on the bill. It was meant to be the first gig they had played in years after a massive hiatus. Sadly they cancelled, apparently they got together for a rehearsal then called it a day! Gutted. The first ever band I was in was an Oasis tribute band. It was through their songs that I learned to play chords. I remember hearing Wonderwall for the first time, the bit when the cello comes in just before the drums just completely blew my mind! Years later we supported them at Hampden Park, around 2006 and they were really nice with us. I’d lost my shoes at an Oasis gig at Newcastle Arena on the Be Here Now tour, I mentioned it to Noel and he said 'don't ask me for the money to replace them' in his usual witty way. He still owes Jaff a pint of genius!
What else were you up to back then?
Growing up in the 80/90s was mint. Hiring videos on a weekend from Azad Videos, getting a Nintendo, going to the Crowtree leisure centre and having gravy and chips after running riot on the soft play area. Mario Brothers and football. It was class!
When you support acts do you get to hang around and watch them?
We supported the Foo Fighters when they first headlined Wembley Stadium, we were on first, then Supergrass and then the Foo Fighters. We had to drive to Poland for a gig and so had to leave just after Supergrass. That was bad enough but then we found out that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant turned up and did some Led Zeppelin tunes with them. Gutted.
How about going to concerts? Do you ever just go and watch someone else?
It's quite rare that I get to go to gigs. These days it would be more likely that I’d go to see an orchestra play or perhaps some jazz. My partner, Cindy, took me to see a recital of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony at the Sage. That was incredible. The power of a well-rehearsed orchestra is something that can't be described. It takes your head off!!
What about before you were performing yourself?
I saw Pulp headline Leeds festival in 1999. That was something special, they started with a techno arrangement of Common People. And, of course, Bruce Springsteen at the Stadium of Light. That man is unstoppable. Finding Nick Cave was a bit of a mission at Pukkel Pop but it was worth it. Amazing Artist. And seeing Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds in Norway. What can you say? Incredible.
But these days you’re not just in a band, you have a venue as well.
Yes, I'm the landlord of The Peacock on High Street West and we've had some great gigs on since opening. Lake Poets, Rory McLeod, Ferocious Dog, Loudmouth. I can't wait to get things going again once we have come through the other side of the pandemic. Things are looking more hopeful every day and that is so important.
When you perform do you listen to music in the build up to going on stage?
Nothing in particular, we tend not to play music in the dressing room that much. Probably because we can't agree what to listen to! We do vocal warmups shortly before going on stage and that is a good way of getting ready to go out in front of a crowd. We learned the hard way though. When we toured Europe for the first time in 2002, we were doing 14 gigs in a row, and after about 5 gigs, we couldn't really sing. We sound like a bunch of choir boys, singing scales and doing vocal exercises. Not very rock'n'roll but when you have four singers it’s got to be done. Listening to energetic music is a good idea before a gig, maybe some Fela Kuti with his long hypnotic afro-beat masterpieces.
That would get you moving! What gets you on the dancefloor?
I have to be in an extremely good mood to contemplate dancing, or pissed of course.
And the music has to be just right. But yeah, Fela Kuti or some other afro-beat is fun to dance to because there are so many rhythms or perhaps some classic British punk music. I'm more likely to dance when I'm making dinner in the kitchen at the minute, listing to Can or Killing Joke while making a risotto.
And if we could let you out of the house for one day at the moment where would you go? Would someone else be cooking you risotto?
I would go to the Stand Bar in Tokyo and drink ice cold beer and, yeah, I’d get someone to make me delicious Japanese bar snacks like grilled squid and tiny dried fish and rice crackers. But, to be honest, I would love to be knocking out the ham and pease pudding stotty cakes at The Peacock before a home game. Absolutely superb atmosphere! I’m really missing it!
You’re not the only one. And, I’m guessing you might be biased here but, best walkout music at a football ground?
Yes, I’m definitely biased. When Sunderland used to come out to our tune 'The Beginning of the Twist' well that was amazing. And it worked really well. We were over the moon when we found out that they were doing it. Something about a band running out to local music is very powerful! Bring it back!
Thanks for chatting. Keep well and see you in The Peacock soon.
Thanks. Stay safe, stay sane, and hopefully see you soon! It's difficult to predict what life will be like after this, especially in the short-term but 'keep on keeping on' no matter what.