Review by Matthew Tilt I’ve had my share of fears about tonight, knowing very little about the opening band, knowing enough to dislike Rise to Remain and the horrible knowledge that the only truly good Funeral for a Friend albums were Casually Dressed... and Hours and yet here we are celebrating their fifth album Welcome Home Armageddon which is possibly the blandest album the Welsh quintet have released, with Memory and Humanity coming a pretty close second.
Tiger Please do nothing to calm these doubts, their mid paced emo rock failing to grab anyone, with supposedly charismatic vocalist Leon pretty much been ignored even as he climbs into the crowd. Speaking of boring and generic Rise to Remain are on next. Forgetting for a moment just who Austin’s dad is, let’s give them the fair review and look at the music. Boring metalcore, with plenty of unnecessary guitar solos taken from some crappy Maiden B-sides and to top off the embarrassment, one lonely guy in the pit being an absolute arse whilst the rest of the crowd quietly look on, with the occasional head bang. It’s kind of nice to see that who your dad is can get you a lot of things, but it won’t get you much support when you bring unoriginal shite like that to the table.
It’s a fair wait for Funeral for a Friend to come on, then that oh-so-recognisable riff for Roses for the Dead kicks in and things really go mad. Despite the fact that two minutes ago it was so packed that I was uncomfortably close to accidently penetrating the man next to me, a pit somehow breaks out and bodies are flying everywhere. Dusting off classic tracks like Juneau and Monsters and mixing in tracks off the new album, which, possibly due to the energy in the room, are revitalised and sound much better than on the record.
The security struggle to cope with the barrage of crowd surfers, and all the while Matt Davies smiles, clearly enjoying the response they’re getting. He cracks jokes, and completely commands the full-to-bursting pit, creating conga lines and circle pits with the minimum of effort. It’s a performance that completely saves the night and an encore of Into Oblivion and Escape Artists Die is the perfect end, leaving the crowd sweaty, exhausted and desperate to pull up the good FFAF albums on Spotify.