New Found Glory – Mean Fiddler, London

By paul

Time has not been so kind to New Found Glory. Weathering the break down of the recorded music industry fairly well they bounced from indie to major and back again. Epitaph being a place where both the band and fans were happy? a trait that possibly only Drive Thru bands have to worry too much about. That weathering however has come at a cost. 2002s eponymous ?Sticks and Stones? went on to sell in excess of 80,000 in the UK. In strict contrast, Not Without A Fight has sold under 6000. Yes ? record sales are declining, but using the aforementioned figures, record labels might as well pack it up right now if this was the rule not the exception. Shocking numbers, and a real travesty when considering how good NWAF actually is. What has not changed however, in 9 years that New Found Glory have been visiting our shores is the fact that in terms of energetic, tight, all round GREAT performances ? they are a band which can not be beaten. Even the prospect of a not sold out Kentish Town Forum did not last for long, the few remaining tickets being snapped up on the door.

As for the setlist ? Intro leading into All Downhill From Here kicked off the set closely followed by Listen To Your Friends. Favourite Understatement slipped nicely into Right Where We Left Off and the tempo was brought straight back up again by Something I Call Personality. Sincerely Me had the crowd singing louder than I?ve ever heard before at a NFG show and Hold My Hand, despite coming from a difficult album fits nicely into the live show. Truck Stop Blues, Truth Of My Youth, Sonny and the harder Dig My Own Grave follow in quick succession and Failures Not Flattering brings it all in before ?THIS ONES FOR THE OLD SCHOOL NEW FOUND GLORY FANS? Dressed To Kill injects another bout of energy into the audience. Don?t Let Her Pull You Down demonstrates the strength of the latest material and The Story So Far is an extra added bonus ? a track which rarely gets thrown in. Kiss Me and Hit Or Miss are the icing on the cake – /fun/ – it certainly is. This Disaster and Forget my Name make up the encore and OBVIOUSLY My Friends Over You closes the set. 21 tracks in ? no-one seems to really want to go home.

12 years down the line, 6 albums in, numerous UK tours and an aging fan-base — New Found Glory are still doing what they do best on stage. Jordan is singing more than he used to (fans will recall his mic-thrust-towards-crowd phase) and musically the band just could not get tighter. The fact of the matter is, NFG are a band who are not going to re-invent themselves, or their sound, because frankly ? they don?t need to. A steady progression has brought them to where they are today, and fun is the aim of the game. Forget Rock and Roll. It?s only pop punk – but I like it.