Funeral For A Friend + Cancer Bats + In Case Of Fire + Attack! Attack! @ Birmingham Academy – 26th Octoberer 2008


Funeral For A Friend have been around for a few years now, and although they’ve changed a lot since the early days, the fans are still out in force. Tonight, they are back in Birmingham with a new album to showcase and three very different support bands to back them up.

Keeping up the Welsh connection are Attack! Attack! from South Wales whose pop punk sound gets them a decent reaction from the young crowd. With plenty of energy onstage and some catchy songs, there’s plenty of movement down the front, and a bit of a sing-along during ‘Lights Out’. The guys all seem genuinely thrilled to be here, thanking the crowd after every song and clearly enjoying themselves. Despite being limited to an extremely short set, Attack! Attack! make an impression and many of the fans here tonight will surely be back to see them next time around.

After the fun, cheerful sound of Attack! Attack!, In Case Of Fire sound a little out of place. Although their more chilled out, almost Biffy Clyro style rock songs sound great, they don’t keep the excitement going, the reaction from the crowd being fairly non existent. The Irish three piece are more likely to go down well with the newer Funeral fans, their mature sound being closer to that of the headliner’s more recent albums. The soaring vocals and chugging guitars of ‘Align The Planets’ create a huge sound which could easily see these guys supporting some of the bigger rock bands in the future. However tonight, it seems they just aren’t right for this bill, the Funeral fans seeming fairly unimpressed.


As Canada’s Cancer Bats hit the stage, the crowd is divided. Those who know what’s coming get right into it from the opening chords of ‘Pneumonia Hawk’, while the rest look a little confused about what’s going on. Singer, Liam Cormier doesn’t stop for a second, raging around the stage for the entire set and diving into the front of the crowd for ‘Hail Destroyer’. Unfortunately, the Academy doesn’t allow for a repeat performance of the carnage created in the Barfly earlier in the year, but the fans give it a good go.

The band’s hardcore style with a rock and roll edge is so different from anything else on the bill tonight, the entire band going for it with the brutal ‘Sorceress’ while ‘Pray For Darkness’ shows a more punk side to their sound. Although they might not have been for everyone tonight, those Funeral fans who were up for something a little different clearly had some fun. Returning to destroy the Academy 2 in December, it looks like Cancer Bats aren’t about to slow down.


After that, it’s a little hard to get excited about Funeral For A Friend, who over the years have become more and more laid back. Far from the early days of ‘Seven Ways To Scream Your Name’, the band’s new album ‘Memory and Humanity’ sticks firmly to their more mainstream sound. The crowd don’t seem to agree, however, going crazy as soon as the band appear onstage and keeping up the hysteria throughout the entire set.


There are still plenty of older songs thrown in, giving the original fans something to rock out to, ‘Juneau’ appearing very early on in the set. New single ‘Can’t See The Forest For The Wolves’ has the catchy riffs and sing-along chorus that characterise the band’s sound on more recent albums, clearly already a favourite amongst the crowd. Frontman Matt Davies’ strange between-song philosophizing creates a bit of an awkward silence at times, however with the opening chords of every song, the crowd are back to cheering and jumping along.


It’s good to hear the band playing a few songs that don’t usually feature in their set, the addition of ‘Your Revolution Is A Joke’ providing a bit of variety before they return to the more well known tracks. The anthemic ‘History’ slows things down, a chance for the entire crowd to sing along, two fingers raised in salute on every hand in the room. Set closer ‘Escape Artists Never Die’ is an unexpected ending, the old favourite acting as a great end to the show.


Review – Helen Catchpowle
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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5 thoughts on “Funeral For A Friend + Cancer Bats + In Case Of Fire + Attack! Attack! @ Birmingham Academy – 26th Octoberer 2008

  1. im on the photo white hoodie with my crazy people who i met waitin in the que for 8 an a half hours yeah!!!

    it was sooo good
    but the writer forgot to put sum crazy kid shouted out YMCA halfway through cancer bats set [that was me] ahahahahah

    best gig ever!!!!!

  2. KrisS – I think you also need to change your description of yourself from ‘crazy’ to ‘cretinous’. I think you were the only person in the venue that was remotely amused and the fact that you found your own ridiculously pointless and frankly unfunny exclaimation hilarious, is pretty low.

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