Date: February 16th, 2013
Venue: NQ Live, Manchester
Support: I Divide / Major League / Such Gold
British post-hardcore veterans, Funeral For A Friend, have had a bit of a rough time in recent years. With trends constantly moving, they almost didn’t manage survive the scene. With the addition of ex-Rise To Remain drummer Pat Lundy, the band have a new energy about them, and it seems to be paying off.
Recent Red Bull Bedroom Jam winners, I Divide (**), open up the show to a small crowd. Their pop-rock melodies catch on to a few people, but for the majority of the set they couldn’t be roused, despite the band’s constant willing. The old ‘hands in the air’ technique got a few people participating, but their lack of fanbase was evident. Frankly, they looked a bit out of their depth, but understandably opening for a band with such history is a daunting task. Hopefully they will soon find their feet.
Pop-punk/hardcore crossovers are easy to emulate, hard to get right. Fortunately, Major League (*****) have found the perfect formula. As all pop-punk should be, it’s light-hearted and super enjoyable with smiles all round but, more importantly, it had some balls to it. Hardcore would creep in here and there, giving the tracks some backbone as well as a chance for the members to steer away from the ‘power chord power-stances’ that are overly used in pop-punk. Singer Nick Trask would slip seamlessly into unclean vocals from singing, really adding extra grit. A well balanced and well executed performance.
More pop-punk from Such Gold (****) really amped up the energy in the crowd. With a little more popularity than the previous bands, a good handful of people begin to get into the similar brand of pop-punk/hardcore. Conforming to neither genre, the fun to heavy ratio again was perfect. The atmosphere between the band is very relaxed, various members talking to both the crowd and each other. It’s actually quite humbling to watch a band that, no matter what the show, still went about their performance in the same way.
Admittedly having gone through a rough patch, Funeral For A Friend (****) are back to prove themselves once again. The room is packed and everyone is on the tips of their toes. With no barrier, everyone expected chaos. As soon as ‘She Drove Me To Daytime Television’ kicked in, all that tension washed away and was replaced with excitement. The addition of Pat Lundy behind the kit gives the band back their heaviness which they had previously lost. This is evident in their set too, choosing to steer away from their, let’s say, more ‘experimental’ albums. With the release of their new album and an impressive display of the highlights of their back catalogue, Funeral For A Friend confirm that they are still as relevant as ever.
Written by Jack Bastard