Gig Review and Photography by Lee Allen

Funeral For A Friend

Tonight Birmingham bids farewell to a band that have seemingly always been there, that band that you’re pretty sure that you support, that band you once saw, that band that have a tonne of songs you didn’t know you knew… that band is Funeral For A Friend.

Funeral For A Friend

Before we hit our musical main course we have a couple of others to get through first, starting with an appetiser of Zoax.

Let me spell that out for you Z.O.A.X.

Zoax

Zoax

Zoax

I just needed to make sure you knew how to spell the name of the band that everyone will be talking about once their album drops. I have waited to see them for a while now and every time they’ve come through Birmingham I have missed them (sorry gents), but after tonight I won’t miss them again. If you like music that tests you, takes you by the hand into darkened corners, does bad things to you and leaves you crying into a warm can of cheap lager then you will love Zoax. They are twitchy, heavy, but full of melody and tighter than a tight thing, in a tight place. Last night they left me with goose bumps. Front man Adam is a stunning centre to the band and it’s hard to take you eyes off him. His vocal performance is powerful and intricate and doesn’t miss a beat. The fact that both bands following them are side of stage, singing and playing air drums along with every line and beat says an awful lot about where these guys are going to be in 6 months. STUNNING!

Zoax

Up next Shai Hulud, a band that you may not have heard of despite them being around since 1995. Tonight they deliver a fierce set of fast paced hardcore that leaves the Institute on the back foot. Personally I loved them and I think they are probably there at the request of FFAF, but the majority of the sold out crowd seemed a little indifferent, despite the band working hard to win them around. If you like gang choruses and razor sharp riffs check them out.

Shai Hulud

Shai Hulud

Shai Hulud

So on to the main course… Funeral For A Friend.

Funeral For A Friend

What can I say about a band playing their biggest album in full to a rabid partisan crowd as way of a farewell to a 15-year career? Well for me, despite this being FFAF’s night, they were blown off stage by Zoax. Maybe that’s a fitting passing of the musical baton if you will. Whilst FFAF sounded tight and clearly excited to be their for their big farewell they lacked the energy and spark of Zoax who clearly grabbed the night by the balls and twisted hard.

Funeral For A Friend

Good-bye and good luck FFAF you will be missed and I have a feeling we will see you again in the future.

Funeral For A Friend

See the full photoset from this gig here.

Funeral For A Friend

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