Not a nostalgia trip: Funeral for a Friend
In 2001, a group of fraught young Welshmen burst onto the hardcore scene, writing the soundtrack to many a teenage heartbreak around the world. Ten years and five full-length albums later, the boys are as energetic as ever, ready to take on their second decade.
Gav Burrough and Rich Boucher, who joined the band in 2008 and 2011 respectively, confidently assured Palatinate that the band’s latest full length, ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ was one of their best pieces of work, despite it being the only one they had personally worked on.
“We’re really proud of it. We tried to bring back elements from the first two albums that maybe people were missing about the band and I suppose with the introduction of me and Rich into the band, we felt that as well.”
It has certainly been extremely well received by critics and fans alike, with a heavier return leading to the release being affectionately nicknamed by some fans to a “Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation Part 2”.
“We’ve certainly brought back some of those elements,” mused Gav, “but this isn’t a nostalgia trip. We’ve taken the elements that were missing from the band but also kept the relevant bits”.
This blending of old and new can perhaps best be seen on tracks ‘Front Row Seats To The End Of The World’ and ‘Owls (Are Watching)’, both which were as eagerly enjoyed by the Newcastle crowd as old classics ‘This Year’s Most Open Heartache’ and ‘Roses For The Dead’.
Yet, despite the plaudits flooding in from all quarters, Funeral are not resting on their laurels. The release of ‘See You All In Hell’, an EP with one new song and alternative versions of “Welcome Home Armageddon” songs, Gav excitedly described as a ‘catalyst’ for the autumn tour.
‘We’d recorded the new song (‘High Castles’), which really shows where we are as a band right now, and wanted to get it out there as soon as possible. Alongside that, we had all these acoustic or remixed versions of the Armageddon songs that we didn’t want to just sit on someone’s laptop somewhere’
The apocalyptic names of both April’s ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ and November’s ‘See You All In Hell’ displays a dark humour that the band insists is necessary for artists to exist these days.
‘Some bands these days like to think they take themselves seriously, but I don’t think any band should be too serious. The album titles juxtapose with the cartoon-style album covers, which sort of shows we’re still having a lot of fun’
The energy and enjoyment that the band evidently still have translated completely onto the stage, with their set of golden oldies and raw new tracks a definite winning formula.
With plans for a new album in the coming year, it’s obvious that the boys from Bridgend still have the hunger for music, but what’s perhaps more important as the ten-year anniversary passes by, the elation of UK crowds on this tour shows that we are still hungry for Funeral For A Friend.