LIVE: Funeral For A Friend @ The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent (28/03/2011)

Date: March 28th, 2011
Venue: The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent
Support: Tiger Please, Rise To Remain


It’s safe to say that over the past few years, things for Welsh post-hardcore outfit Funeral For A Friend haven’t been too great. Alongside two consecutive albums that alienated a lot of their original fanbase with their more ‘mature’ style, the depature of two key members wasn’t a great help either. However, equipped with new member Richard Boucher and brand new record ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’, FFAF are hoping to revitalise themselves with a new lease of life.

All three bands on the bill don’t share the exact same sound and style as each other, and this can’t be more true than with openers Tiger Please (***). Resonating similarities to the likes of Kings Of Leon and a much rawer Arcade Fire, the Welsh outfit were a slow ease into the show for the crowd. Frontman Leon Stanford has a great fire and rasp to his voice through songs such as ‘Autumn Came The Fall’, so much so it’d even put Tony The Tiger to shame.

Rise To Remain (****) on the other hand sound like a pack of tigers, most notably with the intense drum pummeling of Pat Lundy and the ever energetic vocalist Austin Dickinson. New track ‘The Serpent’ and the more familiar ‘Bridges Will Burn’ are punishing and intense in a live setting, and show the very early stages of a band that could become the next Trivium or Bullet For My Valentine come the release of their debut album later in the year.

A barrage of cheers and screams flood the room when Funeral For A Friend (*****) take to the stage, and right from the intro riff of set opener ‘Roses For The Dead’ the crowd goes completely insane. The insanity only ensues further, with a set avoiding albums ‘Memory & Humanity’ and ‘Tales Don’t Tell Themselves’ (aside from ‘Into Oblivion (Reunion)’) completely to maintain their rawest and arguably strongest songs intact. ‘Monsters’ and ‘Juneau’ bring some of the biggest sing along highlights of the night, but neither compare to the collective embrace through ‘History’, showing through both audience dedication, and when combined with the final thrilling moments of closer ‘Escape Artists Never Die’, also a band who are far from gone just yet.

Written by Zach Redrup