Funeral For A Friend
support from Fightstar
Manchester Academy 1
Volume and intensity seem to be the goals that Charlie 'Busted' Simpson and his new band Fightstar reach for and to a certain extent, achieve in the tearing lament of 'Waste A Moment' early on. The sorrowful subject matter and gruff heartiness with which Simpson's vocals are projected above the sauntering guitars and crunching percussion is a brief indication that Fightstar may get the hang of crafting an aching rock song. After this ray of darkness, the repetitious riffs and grating attempts at a growl from Simpson see the set limping along like John Prescott's political survival campaign. 'Build An Army' adds a snap of bite and cogency and stirs the crowd up, but the hit and miss nature of Fightstar is too much for one fan to take and he or she hurls eggs at them. The guys are booked to play the same venue on 11/10/2006, however you just get the impression that a great deal of experimenting needs to be done in the meantime, if they are to pull it off. They did hint at having the potential to do so, at times.
'We Will Rock You' booms out and young excited hands flutter in the air, as the expectation builds for the entrance of the Wales emo brigade, Funeral For A Friend. The opening pitch of the proceedings 'Dance Til' We Die' is an unashamed, heart wrenching, guitar wrestling release that gives Matt Davies the chance to demonstrate that his vocal power is getting even more potent, as he grapples with the contradictions of love with help from a keen crowd. The set takes on a reflective tone spanning their first two albums, with 'Rookie Of The Year' inspiring the largest, if a little tame, pit circle and previous single 'History', shows up FFAF's ability to slow things down and build the emotion through lyrical power and a high vocal pitch that could be a sign for the future. The guys announced that they are about to head into the studio to tread into the often trouble fraught and expectation rising third album territory. On tonight's evidence, I can see one major problem with their attitude ahead of this task. They seem to be enjoying themselves and smiling too much in order to be able to recapture their woe grappling tension release that many have come to expect from them.