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REVIEW: Funeral For A Friend – O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London (21/05/16)

On the 21st May 2016, Funeral For A Friend graced the stage for the very last time. The band had announced a year prior that they would be no more following an aptly named “The last chance to dance” tour. This was to see the album’s Hours and Casually dressed and deep in conversation played in their entirety.

On the second and final night at the Kentish Town forum, the band performed the first album they ever released, 2003’s  Casually dressed and deep in conversation which featured at number 12 in the album charts. It was an incredible and firm fan favourite containing the hits such as “juneau”. The supports acts for the night were Zoax, a London based five piece, alongside Creeper who have previously supported FFAF on the release of their last album “Chapter and verse” UK tour. The southampton horror punks Creeper are definitely a band to look out for. With a very afi/alkaline trio esque sound they are quickly making a name for themselves, recently winning Best British Newcomer at the K! Awards and Golden God awards this week. Although the crowd was hesitant at first, they soon warmed up to the energetic and charming stage presence of vocalist Will Gould, with current fan favourites of VCR and Black Mass.

fdt1From the start to end, the energy and emotion that filled that room is indescribable. Song after song, the crowd sung their lungs out like their lives depended on it. A 15 year career combined into one final night.  This wasn’t just a recap recital of the album, no – this was more. This was a chance for Matt Davies to tell us the true inspiration and meanings behind each song which you don’t read in the magazines, adding to the tugs already pulling on our heart strings. As they sung through hit after hit, it was hard to even hear Matt’s vocals anymore over the crowd. Everyone in that crowd tonight danced and sang as if it was 2003, even more so when the band was joined by former members Darren smith and Ryan Richards on stage for a performance of This Year’s Most Open Heartbreak.

Many fans, including myself began to shed a few tears at watching this band who was the soundtrack to our teenage years come to an end. The once small group who helped kick start the era of welsh bands who stormed the charts with the likes of BFMV and Lostprophets. The closing song for tonight’s show was History, one they’ve ended on many times. But tonight it had a whole new meaning, a song that summed up the entire gig creating an explosion of emotions from not only the crowd, but from the band. Never have I experienced a gig where the crowd managed to bring the front man to tears, but they did. As the lines of “history” came to an end, and the band took their final bows, it was obvious the crowd wasn’t quite ready to let go. For 5 minutes the crowd sang in unison an encore of History, fingers up in salute as they watched their heroes stand in awe of the sheer passion and emotion in the room.fdt3

As sad as it is to see a favourite band go, that final show marked the end of an era in such a positive way. They ended the career on a high note, unlike the case of many bands that just deteriorate away. FFAF tonight made sure that while they may be gone, they’ll never be forgotten.

“Raise your fingers for one last salute and bleed this skyline dry. Your history is mine.” FFAF. 2001-2016 RIP.

Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation

Setlist May 21st:

Rookie of the Year

Bullet Theory

Juneau

Bend Your Arms to Look Like Wings

Escape Artists Never Die

Storytelling

Moments Forever Faded

She Drove Me to Daytime Television

Red Is the New Black

Your Revolution Is a Joke

Waking Up

Novella

 

Encore:

This Year’s Most Open Heartbreak

(with Darran Smith and Ryan Richards)

Kiss & Make Up (All Bets Are Off)

10 Scene Points to the Winner

You Want Romance?

10:45 Amsterdam Conversations

The Art of American Football

Roses for the Dead

History

Don’t forget to check out the Rebellious Noise review of the night before where FFAF played “Hours” in full here and our interview with them at Breakout Festival 2014.

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