Venue: Rios, Leeds.
Review by: Nick Lavigueur.
A FEW years ago, Welsh outfit Funeral for a Friend were riding high in the rock charts, playing stadiums and arenas around the world.
But, after some time off setting up their own record label, the emo five-piece emerged from the darkness of the studio to the much more humble surroundings of intimate Leeds rock venue Rios.
But the time out of the limelight doesn’t seem to have affected FFAF’s confidence as they pumped out a fine hour-long set of old favourites and new material.
Tracks including Escape Artists Never Die, Roses for the Dead and Streetcar had the crowd harking back to the heady early years, when FFAF won Best Newcomer and Best British Band Kerrang! Awards.
But it wasn’t until the crescendo that is Into Oblivion launched that you truly remembered the energy that sees singer Matt Davies at his best.
As Davies said: “See you in a field somewhere near here soon.”
Support, We are the Ocean, hit the stage sounding like hardcore thrashers Dillinger Escape Plan.
But WATO have a surprise up their sleeve with a second vocalist of such polish and contrast you’re just not sure why he hasn’t gone solo and formed his own hard rock band.
While on certain tracks frontman Dan Brown’s post-hardcore screeching adds a nice contrast to the rich voice of guitarist Liam Cromby, overall, the dual vocals thing is just confusing.
If you fell into a coma in 1992 and woke up at a gig by openers, People in Planes, you’d think you’d only been out for a few minutes.
Husky voiced lead-singer Gareth Jones even took to the stage in a plaid shirt and woolly hat evoking memories of a certain young Kurt Cobain on MTV2 unplugged.
But sounding like Welsh version of Soundgarden fused with Queens of the Stone Age is no bad thing and PIP impressed with faultless musicianship and slick vocals offering a more mainstream alt-rock appeal that could see them make it this time.