Funeral For A Friend – London Borderline

By Tom Aylott

Situated near the construction site graveyard of the Astoria, The Borderline‘s one of those venues that shouldn’t really work that does. It’s full of precarious objects, pillars and steps, and the bars are pretty awkward if it’s busy, but there’s a certain undeniable charm to the place. HMV “Next Big Thing” gigs at the venue have been well homed, and there’s not too many grumbles about the location from the early comers.

First up tonight are late addition (due to The Blackout disappearing [sell outs] to play with some band called My Chemical Romance) SPY CATCHER [3.5/5], who’ve been making quite the name for themselves recently. Firmly associated with more recent US blues-based punk/rock, it takes a little while to get around thinking they’re borrowing too heavily from contemporaries – but once the surface is scratched, there is some really quite brilliant songwriting to be found, and they close on a massive hit in waiting (that we sadly end up missing the name of).

CANTERBURY [3/5] are a band that become increasingly more comfortable on stage as they go on. Songs from their debut album ‘Thank You’ sound massive, and the band’s marketing approach on the record seems to have paid dividends. Canterbury are a band that it’s hard not to will on to succeed, and they’re putting down solid performances wherever they go, but some of the newer songs the band bring out tonight feel a little less ready to go – though it might just be because they’re getting early airings and need a bit more tinkering.

“Hello, we’re FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND [4.5/5]and we’re the Next Big Thing”. The irony of the event title isn’t really lost on anyone in the Borderline tonight, but the anticipation ahead of the band’s performance is great nonetheless. The band’s recent “phoenix from the ashes” rebirth is nearing completion with a full UK tour and a brand new record, and there’s every indication that they’re back to having the time of their lives.

Tonight’s set is a balance of the new and the old, but the baying crowd enjoy the lot indiscriminately. There is no one in the room who’d call themselves a Funeral For a Friend fan that’s having a bad time, and the band seem genuinely excited to be back on stage playing new material. It’s something you don’t see too often, but it’s smiles all around and a great night for everyone involved.


See more photos from the event here:
Funeral for a Friend | Canterbury | Spy Catcher