Faith No More Sunday 8th July 2012
Hammersmith Apollo, London
Words by Antony Roberts
Support band Guano Podano sounded like a 3 piece film soundtrack band, with lots and lots of Hank Marvin style tremolo added. Whilst their shimmering tones would have worked perfectly adding atmosphere to a Tarantino or Lynch desert scene most of the crowd were unappreciative, with practically everyone around us nattering away to each other. It was only when Mike Patton briefly appeared onstage to do vocals for “Prairie Fire” that the audience responded anything beyond it’s previous polite applause and actually took interest.
There’s a long 45 minute gap between Guano Padano and Faith No More. The entire stage was decked out in white, amps are covered in sheets, even the keyboards are white and an entourage of staff/roadies shuffled back and forth bringing on flowers, and more flowers, and more flowers (see the videos, it looked like a florists display by the time everything was set up!).
The band walked out in all white suits and what looked like Yoga meditation outfits, and start into the instrumental “Woodpecker From Mars” before merging that into a cover of Tom Jones’ “Delilah”, showing off Patton’s huge vocal range. By fifth song “Land Of Sunshine” the audience have found their voice to, “Well, well, well you guys again huh?” Patton jokes to the crowd after they have woken up and joined in. The tunes slow down and the lighting becomes subdued for the moody “Evidence”, and Patton tells the audience that “Everyone needs to stop fucking around and show me your hands”. The megaphone makes it’s first appearance for “Last Cup Of Sorrow”, not that Patton needs it, his vocals fill the Apollo with ease, and tonight the PA is cranked up, Faith No More are bloody loud.
Keyboard player Roddy’s exit signals “Digging The Grave” and a sizeable pit opens up front and centre. Following this is the cover of The Commodores “Easy” and whilst Patton is asking people to join in I look down across the crowd in amusement, spotting one single lonely lighter amidst a sea of digital cameras and phones. “Epic” follow’s “Easy” and is met with the loudest response of the night. Maybe it’s the heavy rotation across pretty much every rock club across the country for the last 20 years but the whole venue knows the lyrics smashing their fists in the air towards the stage shouting “What is it?” and singing along.
The loungey “Just A Man” has the audience swinging their hands to the somewhat cheesy chorus, Patton goads more people to join in “so I don’t have to, get your hands in the air bitches!”. The band consider it a weak effort from the crowd and promptly stop, Patton wagging his fingers at the audience, “that was bad”. What’s the only natural response for a Faith No More audience to do in London? Start chanting “You Fat Bastard”! This then leads into a surprise and brief cover of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”, and the band exit the stage.
Coming out for what is expected to be the encore they play one riff, laugh “ahhhhhhhaaaaaa” at the audience and walk back off stage leaving everyone slightly confused. Was this Faith No More’s normal mucking around or was that the actual encore? A roadie then walked on stage and starting tuning the guitars giving the game away that they were obviously coming back on, and after a few minutes they return. Roddy quietly mumbles into his mic, “for those of you who have the first album, this one’s for you” and they proceed with a 4 song encore all taken from “We Care A Lot”. I found it quite amusing leaving the venue to overhear a punter moaning, “what the hell was that encore about I didn’t know any of those last 4 songs”. Someone needs to invest in some back catalogue! There were times when the bass was a little over heavy slightly drowning things out, but generally the sound was spot on, and this was the best of the 3 times i’ve seen them in last few years. A friend recently commented to me that he didn’t get all the excitement, especially since Big Jim has left, but some of us didn’t get to see the band back in the day. With shows as good as this, and a playlist mixing in some of the older classics, let’s hope they keep coming back.
Woodpecker From Mars/Delilah (Tom Jones cover)
Land of Sunshine
Last Cup of Sorrow
Digging the Grave
Epic (Commodores cover)
The Gentle art of Making enemies
King For a Day
Ashes to Ashes
Just a Man
Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley cover)
Pills For Breakfast
We Care a Lot
Why do You Bother/Niggas in Paris
VARIOUS FAN FILMED FOOTAGE FROM YOUTUBE: