Funeral For A Friend : Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall

...the second wave of screaming geeks is upon us...

Oh come on, don’t act so surprised. A couple of years back, before spending all your money on MC5 and Stooges records instead of deodorant became a fashion statement, the emo offensive was in full flow. Hundred Reasons were chart heroes and Jimmy Eat World were a must-hear band. Now the second wave of screaming geeks is upon us and even a tone-deaf Nickelback fan couldn’t fail to see why Funeral For A Friend are on the frontline.

With his Karen O hairdo, boyish good looks and the kind of energy that could cause a nasty bout of motion sickness, Matt Davies is a frontman beyond compare. As he continually swings his microphone around and around like a hardcore incarnation of Tom Jones, the fantastically named ‘She Drove Me To Daytime Television’ opens the evening’s floodgates before a raging rendition of ‘This Year’s Most Open Heartbreak’ careers out of control like a derailed train. Not since the Manic Street Preachers have a group of Welsh Valley boys created such pandemonium after only the second song. The superbly sharp emo-pop of ‘Escape Artists Never Die’ is renamed ‘David Blaine’ for the night in honour of the man’s box-dwelling antics.

And then of course, there’s ‘Juneau’. Take ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, multiply it by ‘Creep’ and then add on the sum total of ‘Everybody Hurts’ and ‘Yellow’ and you’re still about as close to reaching the magnitude of this song as the Kings Of Leon are to becoming patrons for Cancer Research. It’s a multi-purpose rock anthem – one to cry, crowd surf and wistfully sing along to all at the same time (lighters optional but preferred).

In the ever-increasing field of British extremo outfits, there’s Funeral For A Friend and there’s everything else. NME strongly recommends the first one.

Hardeep Phull