Funeral For A Friend – The Roundhouse, Camden

By Tom Aylott

Funeral For A Friend (by Penny Bennett)

FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND have been on what seems an up and down level of popularity over the past few years. At one point in the not so distant past headlining the huge Brixton Academy and then earlier this year just about managing to fill the much smaller Relentless Garage, it seemed FFAF were on a downhill spiral, but with this big show at the spacious Roundhouse, it appears FFAF are back on the climb.

As we arrive, THE AMITY AFFLICTION are already towards the end of their set, and it seems their blend of screamo-rock isn’t going down as well as they’d hoped in front of the early comers.

Escape The FateNext up are ESCAPE THE FATE, who essentially make this a co-headliner. Bounding onto the stage dressed up in pre-halloween costumes and masks, they rocket straight into ‘Massacre’. Thankfully they ditch the costumes soon after, enabling them to move their limbs and better deliver their set.

Two irksome things about ETF tonight is their continuing habit of playing with a backing track and the fact that there are 2 band members missing (Max Green and Bryan Money) replaced respectively by TJ Bell and Kevin Thrasher this evening. But as they close on ‘This War Is Ours (Guillotine II)’ and ‘The Aftermath (G3)’, Kevin Thrasher fortunately pulls off all the intense guitar work so smoothly.

FFAFWith the crowd thinning slightly for FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, it solidifies the thought that the show is essentially a double headliner. What follows is a hugely solid performance from the Welsh rockers – we aren’t quite sure why, maybe the people who bought the tickets misread what they were buying for, but the atmosphere does resemble that of an actual funeral at times. Perhaps many are stray ETF fans just hanging around, or maybe it’s a Sunday thing, but FFAF do their best to get the dormant crowd moving. At times they do just that, with Classic ‘Bullet Theory’ and newbie ‘Broken Foundation’ arriving to tip the result slightly in FFAF’s favour. When a request from vocalist Matt Davies-Kreye for a high-five wall of death results in a ‘beat the shit out of each other’ wall of death, it signals the arrival of the much needed enthusiasm from the crowd. This sense of eagerness hangs around for the remainder of the night, and it’s better late than never. Closing on another classic in the form of ‘Escape Artists Never Die’, everything ends on a massive high for both crowd and band.


For photgraphs from the night, head to our galleries section.