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Faith No More - Roundhouse, London - June 18 2015 (Live Review)

Friday, 19 June 2015 Written by Huw Baines

“Drive safe. We love you.”

And with that, Faith No More are gone. For a few minutes at least. There’s an encore to be played - complete with Mike Patton doing precisely what he’s threatened to do all evening: go full crooner and crack out the Burt Bacharach - but the sentiment hangs in the air for a while.

Given the manner in which the band’s spiteful, dysfunctional energy powered their finest moments, the overriding sense of fun and abandon that underpins the second night of their short, post-Download London stay is both enthralling and a little unsettling.

Patton emerges prior to Motherfucker with a gimp on a lead and a smile on his face, with the dead air between that moment and Rolo Tomassi’s reliably feral opening set having been filled with the Pink Panther theme, Moon River and a lounge version of Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.

Battle-hardened and with a new record - ‘Sol Invictus’ - in their back pocket, the band are mercilessly tight. Superhero, Black Friday and Cone of Shame are sprinkled throughout the set and well received, but with flowers decked across the stage and a glitterball in motion, Faith No More are particularly happy to play the hits.

Be Aggressive results in the contents of the Roundhouse’s floor space being upturned in a suitable fashion and Easy’s guitar solo is belted back at Jon Hudson, while Midlife Crisis, fittingly given the number of sore knees and backs scattered about the place, is elevated to a roof-shaking singalong before its conclusion. Everything’s Ruined, maybe the best straight-up pop song in the band’s arsenal, is glorious.

Ashes To Ashes, as if to further stress the public rehabilitation of ‘Album Of The Year’, runs Midlife Crisis close before the end, outdoing Epic and the early days classic We Care A Lot when its chorus hits. At the heart of it all is Patton, part smirking jester, part wild-eyed madman and still the finest, most versatile rock vocalist of his generation. Megaphone in hand, he is magnetic.

 



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