LIVE REVIEW: FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND + POLAR – WAREHOUSE 23, WAKEFIELD [20/04/13]

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Reviewed by Frankii Torok

The Wakefield Warehouse is a strange little venue, and tonight’s gig is at home in this unusual setting.

Hamerex – the first band to take to the stage – are playing a home town show, and seem to have brought a fair few enthusiastic friends/fans with them. Their very confident classic heavy metal got a few people moving, but the heavy Black Sabbath influence didn’t really work with the hardcore/post-hardcore of tonight’s headliners.

Another set of local lads, Cold Summer, are up next. Their post-hardcore screams are a better fit to the nights requirements, and should’ve been the perfect warm up for the next two bands, shame the crowd were pretty much inanimate for their set. This band definitely have potential though, with their ‘passion before fashion’ attitude that’s somewhat a rarity in the hardcore genre nowadays.

Tour support comes from Polar. Entering the stage in a pretty darn epic manner, the boys burst into their heavy, overly confident metal infused hardcore and should have gotten the crowd moving like the place was on fire. It didn’t. Four people attempted to start a circle pit, before the security woman decided to break it up (first night on the job love?). Nevertheless, Polar didn’t exactly bring a unique sound, but were a good warm up for the main act.

And you don’t get much better than Funeral For A Friend‘s choice of setlist. Opening with new singles ‘Conduit’ and ‘The Distance’, before launching into ‘Roses For the Dead’.

They cover their entire back catalogue, EPs and all with no airs and graces, or tough guy attitudes. FFAF play with smiles on their faces and a definite bounce in their step, and it’s a performance from a band that clearly enjoys what they do, vocalist Matt humorously taking the piss out of the Yorkshire accent with exceptional skill before bursting into ‘Recovery’ and, another new one, ‘Travelled’.

The band are all laughing and messing around on stage, and Matt pole dances with a pillar obstructing the stage, and whilst there’s no encore – there was no need for an encore – they wind down the set with, as Matt describes it, “that song from Hours – not Streetcar! (‘Alvarez‘) before another song from Hours followed, ‘History’.

Closing with two songs from their debut album, Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation – an album that is 10 years old this year – the crowd were reminded of their youth, and why they fell in love with Funeral For a Friend all those years ago, as ‘Juneau’ and ‘Escape Artists Never Die’ end the perfect evening of true, pretense-free hardcore.

Unusual venue and support acts aside, it’s a prime example of what a hardcore show is all about – having fun and screaming your lungs out.

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