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FRIENDLY FUNERALS AND BIG HONDOS
:: Funeral For A Friend :: Hondo Maclean ::
12 October 2003 / Academy 2 / Manchester
By Edward Mellett

Earlier this year, as the first band of the day on one of the smallest stages at the Reading Festival, Funeral for a Friend drew a crowd so large that queues stretched for more than 50 metres outside the bursting tent. There was a special kind of excitement for what Kerrang! magazine had then recently called the ‘best new band in Britain’. More importantly there was still an excitement when the band had finished - the Welsh emo stars had blown away everyone in the audience. It was incredible.

Tonight, on the eve of the release of debut album ‘Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation’, FFAF are playing to a Sold Out audience at one of the larger venues in Manchester. This is more than another good band. It must be.

In support of Funeral for a Friend, South Wales’ Hondo Maclean make a supreme effort and show how nearly a year’s worth of nationwide touring has changed them from a group intimidated by the audience, to a group intimidating the audience. Bold on stage with a positive charisma it's hard not to appreciate, Hondo plough through their set with a proficiency that in a year or two’s time could put them on the same level as Funeral for a Friend. Songs with rip and roar intros and verses become epic, candles out, choruses – the perfect formula for the new wave of Welsh emo-rockers. Definately one to watch out for.

It has to be said though, that the evening really belongs to Funeral for a Friend, who from the moment they take the stage instananeously captivate 800 minds. Opening with the hugely poetic ‘She drove me to daytime television’ Funeral drive through a set of songs predominantly taken from the new album. ‘Epic’ is the best and only way to describe their sound, which forces you to sing or scream the words, even if you don’t know exactly what they are yet. For such a young band to be this competent on stage and able to take complete control of their audience is truly stunning. With a sound that could be compared to bands such as Lost Prophets, it would be easy to stereotype Funeral as just another one of those bands, but what they challenge and provoke unlike their counterparts is an intensity of feeling as powerful as any of Zeplin, Nirvana, or the Rolling Stones. All we can do is wait, but the future seems to be an open door, at least at the moment, for Funeral for a Friend.


MMMM½


Resources:
Funeral For A Friend
Hondo Maclean Web

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