I first came across Funeral Party about 6 months ago thanks to Zane Lowe’s music blog and I haven’t looked back since. In that blog he featured a video showing one of their live performances and the music and energy basically blew me away, so when I got offered to review this gig I certainly wasn’t going to turn it down.
I arrived at early doors as I had heard good things about the support bands. To start there was Yaaks, a fairly tight young 5 piece who could probably be described as “Math Rock” and there was something intriguing about their sound and their performance.
One of the most captivating parts of their performance had to be their percussionist. He was dressed in a “Labbatts Blue” vest and would basically throw himself around the stage with immense amounts of energy at any time that he could. There was quite a lot of intricate guitar playing which meant that the lead guitarist remained quite static and I just felt that he needed to let himself go a bit more with the music. I have no idea what their set consisted of but their second and final tracks were without a doubt my favourites. They ended on a very intense drum and percussion solo which the whole band took part in which left most people wide mouthed.
Next up were Flashguns. A 3 piece hailing from London who I had heard very good things about; and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Their sound was very stripped down and reminded me in some ways of Seattle grunge but with influences that I haven’t been able to pinpoint yet.
Their set consisted of 6 tunes where each one created anticipation for what they were going to do next. They opened with “No Point Hanging Around” followed by “Passions” and these two tunes basically grabbed the crowd by the balls and made them listen. The lead singer seemed to have a certain way with the people in the venue and his vocal was somewhat infectious in a way that only Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes has been able to previously grab me. They moved on to a track called “The Beginning” and followed this up with the single “Come and See the Lights”. Next up were my favourite two tracks of their set “I Don’t Not Love You” and “Racing Race” both of which feature on their “Matching Hearts, Similar Parts EP” which is definitely worth a purchase. Overall they were a very impressive band and certainly one that I will be following fairly closely.
We then had what everyone in the venue had been anticipating, Funeral Party. I thought that they would be in your face with energy from the word go but actually found them a little bit gentle to start opening with the title track to their album “The Golden Age of Knowhere”.
The energy grew throughout their second “Giant Song” and by the time they launched into their third “Car Wars” the band were in full flow and the venue was going nuts! Throughout the set the mosh pits were immense and the crowd reaction to every single track was awesome.
The single “Finale” had to be one of the standout tracks of the set especially because the majority of the venue started singing along to “we are the voices under the tracks, driving forward pushing it back!” and it was clear that the band really enjoyed playing it out live. My personal favourite of the night had to be the song that started off my Funeral Party infatuation and it was also the conclusion to the main set “New York City Moves to the Sound of LA”. Basically picture the entire band and venue all working in complete harmony in terms of movement and you will start to picture what I saw. Both the lead singer and guitarist felt the need to jump into the crowd for a bit of a mosh and a crowd surf which was superb! They said “thank you very much” and that was it for the main set.
They came out asking if we wanted “One More?” and told us that they were going to “play a slow song” — as if?! They encored with new single “Just Because” and it was enough to give the venue their final fix for this tour.
Without a doubt a memorable gig and I am pretty sure Funeral Party will not be playing venues of the size of the O2 Academy 3 for very much longer. Overall tonight I experienced 3 fairly different bands which all shared the same ideal — to ensure that we had a good time and that they had a good time doing it! Nice One!
Flashguns Set List
No Point Hanging Around
Come and See the Lights
I Don’t Not Love You
Funeral Party Set List
The Golden Age of Knowhere
Youth & Poverty
Postcards of Persuasion
Relics to Ruins
Fold Your Future
Where Did it Go Wrong
I Came To Tell You
NYC moves to the sound of LA
Review – Imran Khan
Photos – Steve Gerrard