Funeral For A Friend / The Beautiful Mistake - Liverpool Academy 2 - 25.7.03

Funeral For A Friend are one of those bands you can become fanatically obsessed about. A band who inspire devotion and indeed last time they played my hometown of Manchester I'd rushed up from a McCartney gig in Birmingham with about 10 minutes to spare just so I could catch them for my first time. It was everything and more I'd expected after hearing "Four Ways To Scream Your Name" so when they announced a tour that wasn't stopping off in Manchester I knew the only thing to do was book a train ticket down to Liverpool pronto.

What's great about FFAF is you're opened up to a whole new community of bands - Thursday, Finch, Thrice et all - and given the opportunity they take their favourite bands on the road with them. The Beautiful Mistake are one of those bands and they felt this tour was so important that they cancelled their debut headlining tour of the States to be here. Halfway between emo and what can only be described as math rock (intricate tight formulaic melodies), the band excel live with bassist Jon Berndtson making up for in energy what the other bands members seriously lack. "Light A Match, For I Deserve To Burn" is an album which takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions with each song twisting and turning, but always having a clearly defined beginning, middle and end. Live it's much the same (only louder) with little experimentation but it's a case of why mess with perfection. "Stabbing Backwards" crashes and tumbles before chilling out to an almost ambient strumathon, "For A Friend" is beautiful and comforting while "On Building" hits the mark with precision. There simply couldn't have been a better opener tonight than these guys.

As the band seem to be on the cusp of success, the band are on the verge of cancelling several dates of their UK Tour. Matt's been put on strict order to rest and all interviews with him have been cancelled in order for him to rest his voice for tonight's show. Not that the audience can tell when the red variety show curtains of the Academy 2 are opened and the band launch into a set which includes all the tracks off "Four Ways To Scream Your Name" and "Between Order And Model" plus new tracks "Bullet  Theory" and "Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings". Funeral For A Friend have delivered a set which teases us with the new material, yet manages to deliver what for the time being is our own greatest hits set. Tellingly Juneau is spliced with the older Juno (probably resulting in yet another alternative spelling) for the live shows as still the new version only seems to make sense when accompanied by the video. If it wasn't for the fact that aforementioned songs off the forthcoming album "Casually Dressed And In Deep Conversation" were so amazing there would be a sense of where do the band go next.

This is a gig and a tour that few fans will forget. From now on FFAF aren't just our band, they're everyone's band and it would be churlish to let the underground mentality get in the way of it. Funeral For A Friend are the best rock band Britain has right now!!!

Alex McCann

Post your Funeral For A Friend reviews / comments on the Message Board