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Album Review: Hours – Live At Islington Academy by Funeral For A Friend

Almost ten years to the day after Funeral For A Friend released their iconic album ‘Hours’, the band are set to release a live performance of the album in its entirety. As well as the ‘Hours’ set, there’s a selection of five more recent cuts, as well as all time favourites from the band’s impressive arsenal to round off the tracklisting. The release will be available on 15th June as Vinyl+DVD+Digital Audio, CD+DVD digipack and Digital Audio through End Hits Records.

Filmed and recorded on 25th April, 2014 at London’s Islington Academy during Funeral For A Friend’s ‘Hours’ tour with Boysetsfire and More Than Life, the live set serves as a reminder that this band are a vital part of UK rock history and their ability to captivate a crowd and craft important music is as strong as ever.

For many people (even with a passing interest) in UK rock music Funeral For A Friend were (and still are) pivotal in shaping their taste and expectation for an immediate hook coupled with heavy, churning riffs. Hours was the sophomore follow up to the hugely successful Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation. While the latter be the band’s most successful and popular piece of work, Hours actually surpasses it many, many ways. This Live recording is a prime example of the energy and passion that made Hours such a thrilling album played live, and perhaps more importantly how it still sounds current and fresh.

While the release may be supported by CDADIC classics ‘Juneau’ and ‘Escape Artists Never Die’ and more recent hard hitters ‘1%’ and ‘Conduit’ the real gems come in the shape of ‘Streetcar’, ‘Roses For The Dead’ and ‘Monsters’. As far as album openers go, ‘All The Rage’ has to be up there with ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as immediate and exhilarating as they come. There’s a rare live version of ‘Hospitality’ it could have been considered one of the weaker tracks on the original album yet sounds utterly devastating and thrilling here. ‘Drive’ is every bit as emotional as it first was ten years ago. Feel like being transported back to the golden-era of UK rock music? Just give ‘History’ a spin – phenomenal, the crowd interaction will send a shiver down your spine.

Personally, Hours – Live At Islington Academy is a stunning live album and a brilliant reflection on an album that holds such an important place in my heart. Exceptional.

AD Rating 9/10


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