With now seven studio albums since Chapter and Verse was released on Monday, it’s no surprise that Funeral For A Friend have a huge following. The Welsh rockers gained cult status with some of their earlier records, and now maintain a dedicated fanbase who have stuck by through the band’s near 15 year career.
On January 22, the Bridgend quartet took to the stage at London’s Electric Ballroom, right in the centre of cultural capital Camden as part of their first tour in support of Chapter and Verse. Kicking off with ‘Pencil Pusher’, a single from their most recent release, you’d think that the set would be more or less revolving around the album in order to promote it. In fact, more of Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation saw the light of the day on the set list. Despite said record being released 12 years ago now, the songs chosen seemed to please the crowd to no end.
10 years ago, it was all about emo. Bands like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance were managing to break in to charts that nowadays are reserved for the likes of One Direction and Taylor Swift. Funeral For A Friend were definitely part of that movement but while some artists are resentful of the fact they are having to work harder to get noticed, these guys are seeming to embrace it by giving it all they’ve got for the fans that have stuck around and those who have just recently been attracted to the post-hardcore outfit’s appeal.
Funeral For A Friend might still be kicking up a storm with killer tracks, but it was clear there were some differences in their music by just paying attention to the contrast as they played say, one track from Chapter and Verse, and then the next from Hours which was released back in 2005. Naturally, the band have just grown up. They’re more sure of what they’re writing and releasing almost 10 years later, and the maturity definitely shows in their live performances too.
The band are notably proud of their new release, but they thoughtfully closed their set with older tunes that would leave the audience walking out of the venue in a somewhat reminiscent daze. ‘History’ and ‘Roses for the Dead’ went down a treat with the London crowd, as well as Casually Dressed…’s ‘Escape Artists Never Die’. So, while the music Funeral For A Friend put out might not be the most popular genre in this pop-and-rap-dominated world, it’s definitely worth giving them the time of day just so you can say you’re supporting a hardworking, homegrown band who will do anything to please their fans.