You know what, Funeral For A Friend? If you’d waited until next year, you could’ve billed this tour where you’re playing Hours – your magnificent second album – in full as a tenth anniversary celebration of said album. But you didn’t. Oh, okay, we forgive you. But only because we like you so much. Let’s see what that Gavin Lloyd thought about your show at the Camden Underworld last week.
Six things we learned watching Funeral For A Friend in London…
1) Zoax frontman Adam Carroll sure is an interesting character. However it soon becomes apparent that he is an interesting character who is a big fan of letlive.’s Jason Butler. He plays the part of wide eyed mad man well, but essentially the problem here is that he is playing a part and it feels so disingenuous. The giggles that emerge from punters while he is stalking the crowd are a far cry from the look of terror those encountering Butler for the first time wear on their faces.
2) Their brand of post-hardcore isn’t going to do any favours to the letlive. comparisons. When one of letlive.’s biggest criticisms is that they’re just a Glassjaw rip off, it’s safe to say Zoax aren’t the most original band in the world. That’s not to say they’re bad though – set closer ‘Mind Game’ is full of energy and urgency, and proves there is some serious potential here.
3) Cytota look so young they must have had to request a letter from their parents to stay up so late on a school night. They’ve clearly been hitting the text books hard in metalcore class though, and earn themselves a gold star in the process. When they’re at their best they sound like a ballsier Poison-era Bullet For My Valentine.
4) It’s easy to be critical of album played in full shows, especially when the likes of The Blackout are playing The Best In Town in full (oh yeah, that “classic album”). With only two members of the current Funeral For A Friend line-up remaining from the band that recorded Hours – the album that the band are playing in full tonight – gives only more reason to approach this gig with your cynical hat on. However FFAF make it easy to forget any niggles, with a slick delivery of an album that is fantastic front to back.
5) With shows of this sort being built purely on nostalgia there’s often a serious lack of excitement. You know that the crowd are all going to be of a certain age, and many have stopped being active gig goers. Shows like this end up being just a chance to reminisce. That isn’t the case tonight though; deafening sing alongs, messy mosh pits and a constant stream of stage dives make the evening a lot more fun than seeing a crowd of people politely nodding to a roster of songs they used to like.
6) Funeral For A Friend are not content with being just a nostalgia act though. During an encore where the band play select cuts from their back catalogue, they throw in new song ‘1%’. If this is anything to go by the new album is going to follow on from the raw post-hardcore feel of last year’s Conduit. While it may struggle up to the dizzying heights of their early material, it already sounded a lot better then their dodgy 2007-2009 period. It’s safe to say there won’t be a Tales Don’t Tell Themselves tour any time soon.