Faith No More

Wolves Civic Centre

December 1 1997

Radish were the support band tonight. so how do you review them or rate them. Do you focus on the fact that they are fronted by a 15 year old and are rated by Courteney Love? I'm sure they're already sick of that and it's unfair. So if that's the case, then you have to take a look at the music. And if you do that, well, it seems to be another 3 piece Nirvanaesque band, no more, no less. I'm sure if I listened to the album that I would like it, because the songs are catchy. But no more. There's plenty of bands churning this out, but not all are getting the attention that Radish are. And why are they getting the attention, well it all comes back to that initial age factor. Sure, he's a damn sight more talented than I was at that age, and probably ever will be, but that's not the point. In the musical climate, it does nothing for me, has no stand out qualities. The songs were politely received. No more than that. Maybe it was the general crowd, but they didn't invoke the reaction that their current publicity might have you believe they would. And that, for me, is because of the music. But how do you rate and review a band led by a 15 year old?

Faith No More are a different proposition, both musically and in terms of reviewing them. Always seemingly looking to throw people off kilter, they seem to thrive in contradiction. But that often seems to overshadow the fact that in my opinion, they have produced some of the best and most important music of the last decade or more. And this seems reflected in that the Civic is packed tonight, and virtually every date on this UK tour is sold out. So despite receiving a lack of attention from the press, and supposedly being on the slide in terms of sales, there does seem to be some sort of appeal still.

And the anticipation is in the air. So FNM being FNM, Patton strolls onstage and plays Midnight Cowboy. The rest of the band back him, and it's a gentle, laid back introduction to the night. Which seems to throw a few people. There's plenty of applause at the end of it, but there's no energy coming from the crowd. But, contradictions abound, and the band then launch into Collision. The energy onstage picks up, Patton throws himself around, Roddy throws his shapes, and Billy does his thing. But still there's not much from the crowd. Is this due to the apparent unspectacular commercial success of Album of the Year from which it's lifted. Well, apparently not, as Mid Life Crisis which is up next, gets more energy, but not the levels expected. A theme which seemed to run through the entire gig. Or maybe my expectations of what to expect from a crowd enjoying themselves are just different.

FNM then proceded to run through, though maybe not in this order, Naked in Front of This Computer, Ashes to Ashes, Be Aggressive, Ugly in the Morning, Evidence (that should've been a massive hit), Easy, Gentle Art of Making Enemies, Last Cup of Sorrow before reaching the climax of the set with an awesome King For a Day, Epic, Get Out and Just a Man.

So what was it all like. Great, the band seemed tight enough, and as much as Faith No More ever seem to get on with each other, they did tonight. As ever, Roddy tends to share the communication with the audience with Patton. Highlights tonight include Roddy asking if it was true if Wolverhampton was Wild. Errr, not judging by the response. Tame bordering on mildly excitable maybe. Patton announcing that they were being recorded by Radio 1 by telling someone not to tell him to fuck off. We're being recorded by Radio 1, so you can tell me to FUCK OFF. At the end of Ugly in the Morning, Roddy came back on, Did you enjoy that one Roddy inquires Patton. Yeah, I particlarly like the ending, there was a really good BONK in there to which Billy throws his arms in the air and walks around as the champion. Yeah, some people have always got to have the last word replies Patton who also goes on to say that the end to Last Cup is too sudden kinda leaves me with an empty feeling inside you know, what do you think?

The ending to King for a Day is particularly effective, while Patton goes to town hamming it up at the end of Just a Man. The encores include Stripsearch and the bands part take on Deep Purple's Highway Star, before Pristina finishes things, and the lights are up almost before the band have left the stage. It's almost another contradiction to leave on such a relative low key moment. Pristina as a song has grown on me a lot since first hearing it, but the expected norm I guess is to leave on a high, aggressive up-beat note, but not Faith No More.

So, a good gig, maybe even a great gig, should be better in Nottingham, as I think the crowd will be more into things, at least in the way that I regard being into something. Criticisms. Sure. If you don't like the King .. and Album of the Year releases, you may have a hard time with the gigs, as they concentrate on those albums. Still, I like em, so that's ok. King For a Day is such an amazing album. That one should've just exploded, but whatever. I also kinda wish they'd stop playing Epic, not because it's a bad song, but because they have so many other great songs I'd like to hear them play in it's place. Kinda like they didn't do We Care A Lot, and that was great. How about Chinese Artihmetic again, or Blood, or As the Worm Turned, Arabian Disco, New Beginnings (all 3 please), Crack Hitler, Jizzlobber or, please, What a Day. But you couldn't choose the perfect set list, otherwise it would be almost everything they've done, which would be too long a gig. So you just have to accept these things. But I've said it before and will again, music needs Faith No More probably more than the individual members need Faith No More. Here's hoping they stick together and continue to confound critics and sometimes fans alike.