It’s been ten years since the release of Finch’s debut album What It Is To Burn. Feeling old yet? Let’s face it, most of you reading this are here because you’re off to the remaining dates on this new reunion jaunt. Here’s what you can expect from the Finch 10th anniversary tour.
Six things we learned when watching the Finch 10th anniversary tour in Manchester:
1) Pity the poor band who has to support this. Mallory Knox might be riding a tide of hype that’s pointless to fight against right now, with their button-pushing rock anthems, but they’ve still got a struggle on their hands against a crowd half-full of those who already chose their music staples for life.
2) Some of the recent ten year anniversary reunions have been somewhat more sedate affairs. Not Finch. You think you’re out of the mosh when you’re pushing thirty? You think it’s not possible to crowd surf to a slowie like ‘New Kid’? Think again, apparently. Push it right back to ten years ago, because there’s still no one making music like this, with this perfect blend of darkness and melodic anthems. And it still sounds sharp as brass tacks.
3) It’s all about that early time in the band tonight – most of the original line-up are back, as well as the songs they wrote together, performed complete and in full. Setlist-wise, there’s the obvious rundown of the whole album, plus a couple of tracks from first EP, Falling Into Place. That given, ‘Worms Of The Earth’ may seem like an odd choice, but it was written during the What It Is To Burn run. So ner.
4) Of course, we would never condone recording a show and sticking it up on the youtubez. But, say you did, here are the tracks to set your cameraphone for. ‘Project Mayhem’ was only ever performed in part in the past, due to producer Mark Trombino’s remixing of the second half of the track. Live, it’s a more of a frantic apocalyptic rave than the BBC news theme, like a glowstick wrapped in barb wire. Meanwhile, the full length ending of, um, ‘Ender’ is truly one of the most beautifully atmospheric pieces of post-rock you’ll ever hear live. Boy, are you in for a treat.
5) Of course, if you want a real highlight tonight, it’s Randy Strohmeyer and Nate Barcalow giving an impromptu duet of ‘Freelove Freeway’ from The Office. Finch’s sense of humour always had a British skew to it, and Manchester is like the comfy chair in their second spiritual home. When Nate tries to score weed from the crowd for drummer Alex Pappas, long time Factory Records fan Randy points out it’d be more appropriate if he went for some MDMA instead. Thank God he didn’t go with the Manchester City/Manchester United supporter line tonight.
6) Talking to Randy before the show, he said he couldn’t imagine being in another band. They all may have moved on – Nate with Reverend Crow and his solo work, Alex Linares as a sous-chef, Pappas is a sound engineer, Daniel Wonacott is a music teacher and app designer, and Randy about to start studying psychiatry – but there are some things which, mercifully, gloriously, will never change no matter how life changes you. For those here tonight, it’s their relationship with this stonking debut album – and for this band, it’s their relationship with each other. Finch still, undeniably, have that special something together. And Nate Barcalow hasn’t aged a day. Bastard.
Finch @ Ritz Manchester – 19 March 2013 setlist:
Letters to You
Perfection Through Silence
Without You Here
Stay With Me
Three Simple Words
Worms of the Earth
What It Is to Burn