It’s been almost a decade since ‘Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation’ was released; five albums since and with a few members gone, Funeral for a Friend are still going strong which can be signified by this sold out show at Manchester’s NQ Live, one of the dates on a tour in support of the band’s sixth full length ‘Conduit’.
First of all I would like to apologise that wasn’t able to catch openers I Divide due to the traffic lights not being on my side, but watching Major League managed to ease me into the show. The New Jersey pop punk group were certainly grateful to be on this tour, and throughout their set they managed to warm up the attendees with their charming melody and bite for the night ahead. Tokens of this affection were minimal including a couple of people singing along to the words and orchestrated hand claps, but there was something missing that didn’t make it memorable. (3/5)
Melodic hardcore infused pop punk troupe Such Gold fare better, despite initially receiving a slow reaction their energy eventually submerges the room. Most of the positive reaction towards the band shows itself during pre-‘Misadventures’ material featuring sing alongs and loud cheers. That shyness of the crowd is beginning to subside during this performance, and slowly but surely things heat up a bit due to the buzz that Such Gold have created. (3.5/5)
Kicking things off with fan favourite ‘She Drove Me to Daytime Television’, Funeral for a Friend make their presence known in the packed out room. Throughout their set, there certainly seems to be a chaotic struggle between the melodic and the heavy, a contrast that only makes the band’s performance more tenacious and nostalgic by the minute. Most of the material that is played is from albums 1, 2, 5 and 6, which is understandable as this is the material that represents the stripped down and dynamically balanced side of the band. Newer songs like ‘Conduit’ and ‘The Distance’ really come into their own in a live setting as the band packs a punch, whilst older material including ‘Roses for the Dead’ and ‘Red Is the New Black’ get the loudest cheers and scrambles to the front of the stage.
Funeral For A Friend’s newest member and drummer Pat Lundy fits in perfectly whilst most of the screaming that was originally done by Ryan Richards is either propelled by guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts or vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreye who successfully morphs his melody and yells into a cooperative partnership. More riotous pushing and shoving ensues onwards from sharp pace and catchy chorus of ‘Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don’t’. After a glorious and harmoniously jagged heartfelt sing along to classic song ‘Juneau’, Davies-Kreye expresses the band’s gratitude towards their fans before finishing the night with the sweet stylings of ‘History’. It is 2013, a decade since the band released their debut, and they are still as strong and relevant as ever. (4/5)
Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)