'Most cities would bite your hand off for a festival like Long Division' - The Futureheads prepare for Wakefield gig

Post-punk revival act The Futureheads are set to headline Wakefield Long Division Festival.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 1:12 pm
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 2:26 pm

The Sunderland outfit made their name in the early 2000s with an energetic live show and a popular cover of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love.

Guitarist and vocalist Ross Millard said the band, who live in various places in the North East, hadn't be able to spend much time together during lockdown.

Their gigs were cancelled before they were able to properly tour in support of most recent album Powers.

The Futureheads. Picture by Paul Alexander Knox

Now they're ready to recording new material and play for the fans in Wakefield.

Ross said: "We're really looking forward to it, we love the festival, love the idea behind it, and the lineup is always strong, always our type of bands.

"Wakefield reminds me a bit of Sunderland, the type of place and the scene there. We are close to Newcastle and Wakefield is close to Leeds so there's a kinship there. Long Division is a perfect example of an inner city festival.

"You look at the lineup and if you're a music fan you'll see something you've not seen before.

"It's a proper festival, a really good one."

He had a lot of praise for the organisers for managing to pull it out of the bag after countless setbacks.

He said: "Long Division, I know, is one of those festivals that has been planned and replanned over several dates so it's just a case of hats off to organisers.

"I hope the fact they will see it take place is satisfying for them. A place like Sunderland would bite your hand off for something like that and it is important that these things survive.

"We're looking forward to coming down and long may it continue."

He said the last 18 months had been a difficult time for a lot of people in the music industry.

He said: "For the last 15 years bands made a living by playing festivals. If you're really popular it's your own touring but it is amazing how many artists rely on that festival circuit to keep them going.

"Something like pandemic comes come along it shows you the precarious situation that artists are in."

Crowds at the gigs the bands have played so far were cautious at first but Ross said people are getting used to watching live music again.

He said: "It's been a mix in crowds. Some indoor shows I felt a bit of tentative feeling in the audience, especially when you go back six weeks or two months, not everyone was comfortable yet so those gigs felt like an experiment.

"But people are starting to feel more comfortable and feels like things are turning in the right direction."