HTF had the pleasure of seeing Welsh rock legends Funeral For A Friend in not one local venue close to HTF HQ, but two! Not often enough do amazing bands like these guys put in the effort to travel past Bristol. It is almost as though we are forgotten in Devon! Which is such a shame because I can very much confirm that we do exist!
This was the second time I have personally witnessed FFAF in a tiny venue; they hit up Saltash in Cornwall a few years back and that show was crazy – as were these two! After discussing with the band personally it would seem they much prefer the ‘small venue’ vibe rather than smashing up an O2 Academy or something of the like, which we felt was quite humbling. The fact the band’s whole tour is pretty much sold out is proof in itself how popular they still are. Six albums down, 12 years in the industry and a few line up changes has not stopped the British public loving these Welshlings as much as they did back in the debut album days.
Now this is our plea for other bands as big and respected as Funeral For A Friend to maybe take a step back and expand their horizon, go back to those small venues you used to love! With the likes of huge businesses like HMV going under, this is proof in itself that the music business is rapidly changing. Thoughts need to be focused on keeping those local venues alive; places like the White Rabbit in Plymouth and Exeter Cavern are the venues where massive rock bands first started out. I remember seeing the likes of While She Sleeps and Architects play the White Rabbit to just ten in a room. Surely visiting these venues again would not just benefit the venues but the fans just as much. We pay so much in transport costs when we all know the bands really do love playing to a heartfelt sweaty crowd. Yes, playing a stunning, big venue like Brixton Academy is a great achievement but let us not forget where things started. Bands like Funeral For A Friend keep the love of music alive and supporting the venues that really need, and for that we salute them!
Their new album ‘Conduit’ is definitely a flip reverse of the past album releases but this is great to see; the band have evolved with the genre as they should. Progression should be welcomed in music not slated and new tracks like ‘Grey’, ‘The Distance’ and title track ‘Conduit’ express how awesome the new album is!
Obviously the two tracks we were all waiting for were the ones they held out for. ‘Juneau’ from their debut ‘Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation’ and ‘History’ from 2005′s ‘Hours’. The feeling of seeing every face in the venue singing along to the lyrics must be overwhelming. I struggle to see how you can get the same vibe from a bigger venue – the lights, photo pits etc – stop you from seeing the faces of those adoring fans screaming along to every lyric.
So there goes it, we understand why these guys love it small and so should you. Put your hands in your pockets and support a great band who help out the venues that need it most. Long live FFAF!