Funeral For A Friend and Fightstar @ Corn Exchange

Fizzing but formulaic.

Article by Finbarr Bermingham | 15 Jul 2006
Opening for Funeral For A Friend tonight were Fightstar (2/5), fronted by former Busted member, Charlie Simpson. His latest effort was less Busted, more bashed, as he screamed his way through a bass heavy set, clearly relishing the use of his newly liberated tongue. If Simpson's style has changed, his target audience certainly hasn't, with the green-faced, cider filled front row bearing a striking resemblance to the queue for the school nurse. Granted, Fightstar were brief. But they could have been briefer.

FFAF, however, have become a highly polished live act. The effervescent Matt Davies fizzed all night and at times he must have felt like the conductor of a school choir, such was the manner in which he governed his adoring following. However, it was guitarist Kris Coombs-Robert who caught the eye, conducting a one man onslaught on his appliance's neck. The Welsh quintet were at their best when performing at breakneck speed (She Drove Me To Daytime Television being one such highlight), which begged the question "why so many earnest and heartfelt breakdowns?" Overall the tracks were formulaic and each one followed a similar course, which is a shame really when the talent of the band members is glaringly obvious. True, the kids loved every minute, but until FFAF attempt to utilise their musical ability by way of variation, they may be forever lumbered with a mainly underage fan-base, which isn't the most stable foundation for a rock band's career. [Finbarr Bermingham]