Funeral For A Friend - Academy 2 - 12.10.03

Were in the tour bus with Matt and G discussing how they could actually live normal life in America and walk through the audience without even being noticed. In Britain they're never going to live a normal life again. It's 2 hours before the doors have even opened at the Academy 2 and just one look outside at the hoards of fans baying to get close to their idols is enough to scare anyone. These aren't polite pop fans who wait respectfully with cheesy Smash Hits poster in hand - they're pissed up on Special Brew and with an average age of 16 or 17 one sniff of the stuff is likely to turn them into psycho killers. This dear readers is an average day in the life of Funeral For A Friend.

With the Movielife splitting up just over a week prior to the tour we were left with the dilemma of taking the natural cold remedy (i.e. lots of alcohol soaked up in the bar) or watch the support bands. With Hondo Maclean and Further Seems Forever taking the Manchester bill we opted for the former and due to gigantic cock-ups on the part of Manchester Academy we ended up missing FFAF's blistering opener with "She Drove Me To Daytime Television". Lacking the theatrical confines of the Academy 2 in Liverpool, where we last saw FFAF arrive with red variety show curtained entrance that could rival the Darkness for pure showmanship, there's a feeling that the band are going to do away with any airs and graces and just rock the place to the ground. What have become old classics from the EP's such as "This Years Most Open Heartbreak" and "Escape Artists Never Die" give an indication of the bands early days while album tracks such as "Storytelling" and the former single "Juneau" display an ability to write straight up stadium rock.

Funeral For A Friend are on those bands that demand devotion and with such a breadth of material it's impossible to judge where they will head next. While the album certainly suggests they're soldering off the edges and writing more straightforward rock anthems there's always the feeling they could just turn their backs on any recognizable structure. Tonight wasn't the best gig we've ever seen the guys do, but it was more a case of being over familiar with the songs. In the New Year when they head back to Manchester there will be a renewed vigour which will see them tearing apart the Academy 1.

Alex McCann
Photo's by Karen McBride -

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