Faith No More (4 stars)

This article is from 2009

Faith No More

The Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Tue 25 Aug

Surely the crowning glory in this year’s Edge Festival - the reunited Faith No More returning to Scotland after a long, long absence. Firstly, Manchester youngsters Oceansize kick things off in suitably fuzzy prog metal style, reminiscent of oor ain Biffy Clyro (who, coincidently, they also supported at this very same venue just four days previously).

Opening with their superb cover of John Barry’s ‘Midnight Cowboy’, with the stage draped in red velvet and the band decked out in suits, Faith No More saunter on like some lounge band gone hideously wrong, adding a nice guitar crunch to the middle of Barry’s easy listening classic. Ramping up the energy with a triple hit of ‘From Out of Nowhere’, ‘Be Aggressive’ and ‘Caffeine’, these are massive shots of musical adrenaline that have both the crowd and band pumping.

Sometimes reunion shows can feel like protracted affairs, you can almost see the dollar signs gleaming in their eyes as petty quarrels and longstanding resentments are held at bay for the length of each gig. Fortunately, on tonight’s showing at least, this is far from the truth in the FNM camp. It’s a shame original guitarist Big Jim Martin isn’t involved in this ‘Second Coming’ tour, but John Hudson makes a decent stand-in while arch-jester Mike Patton and keyboardist Roddy Bottum are on particularly fine form, offering banter, jokes and plenty of chat. Patton once again proves his versatility as a vocalist, hitting the right notes for the likes of Motown classic and Commodores cover, ‘Easy’ as well as the shouted chaos of ‘Surprise! Your Dead!’.

Faith No More always offered more than straight rock: quirky, energetic, belligerent, eccentric, contrary, frenzied and damn funky. That as complex and heavy a track as ‘Epic’ became such a huge hit is testament to their talent. There are effortless free-flowing changes of pace, from Latino crooning, a Bee Gees cover (‘I Started a Joke’) to hard experimental metal and their segue into the EastEnders theme on two occasions (during ‘Malpractice’ and ‘Midlife Crisis’) which, alongside their now customary beatbox, rocked up version of ‘Chariots of Fire’ proves they’ve retained their mischievous sense of humour.

A loss of some momentum in the final furlong and there being no ‘We Care A Lot’ are small complaints of an otherwise faultless gig.

Set list:

‘Midnight Cowboy’
‘From Out Of Nowhere’
‘Be Aggressive’
‘Surprise! You’re Dead!’
‘Last Cup of Sorrow’
‘Midlife Crisis’
‘I Started a Joke’
‘The Gentle Art of Making Enemies’
‘King for a Day’
‘Ashes to Ashes’
‘Just a Man’
‘Mark Bowen’
‘Chariots of Fire/Stripsearch’

Faith No More

Fronted by Mike Patton, FNM play songs from their legendary back catalogue as well as new work from their first album in nearly two decades, Sol Invictus.

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