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Live Review: Tiger Please, Funeral For A Friend, Foxy Shazam and Samoans - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff - 2/11/10

You know those nights that come along every once in a while... a night that has a certain feeling surrounding it, that just tells you it's going to be one to remember? well I can say, that, with one hundred and ten percent certainty that tonight is definitely one of those.

There is two shows tonight in Clwb Ifor Bach, upstairs we have Tiger Please playing an anniversary show, celebrating the one year release of their debut album 'They Don't Change Under The Moonlight' not only that, but they've had a secret hidden away, supporting them is the newest incarnation of Funeral For A Friend, making their stage debut with Rich Boucher having arrived on bass after Darran Smith's departure in August, the show was starting with Samoans who were facing the daunting task of opening for the two great bands. Downstairs is a different story altogether, supported by The Guns (who I unfortunately had to miss but am reliably told brought some sort of party) Foxy Shazam, an amalgamation of 80's rock combined with the most catchy pop known to man were bringing their unique stage show to the UK on their very own headline tour, as I've already said. Tonight is not a night to be missed.

Starting off with Samoans; due to traffic, I arrived around midway through their set, and to be honest I thought they were alright, I mean, some of the songs sounded a bit flat while the others achieved the atmosphere they were looking for, I feel that with a bit of fine tuning and a bit more time concentrating on enhancing their live show, they could be an awesome live act.

Next up is Funeral For A Friend; naturally, with a new band member in tow, things could have been awkward, but with a set focussing on the future rather than the past, it seemed as if they've been together for ages, with new bassist Rich Boucher looking as excited as a fat kid in greggs.

The less said about the static crowd the better, only coming alive for the finale of 'Escape Artists Never Die' while the band gave it their all throughout, even throwing out some new songs; of which 'Front Row Seats To The End Of The World' could end up being one of the best songs the band has produced in a while, if not ever, proving there is still plenty life left in the Welsh legends yet.

As soon as FFAF finished, Foxy Shazam were due to start, and as I took my spot with around 40 other attendees, they took to the stage and what I saw was one of the best headline acts I'd seen in a long time. Foxy Shazam, to put it simply are a bit mental, and they'll admit that they are a bit mental, from having a keyboardist (Sky White) playing his keyboard with his head, his feet and his chair to the Freddy Mercury-esque frontman Eric Nally who's on stage antics include eating cigarettes and challenging the crowd to win $20 by killing, yes, killing him. That being said, he is an incredible front man, and any on stage antics do not effect the quality of the show whatsoever, the band are incredibly tight, which is a feat in itself considering what half of them get up to, and to top it off they're all brilliant at what they do.

With a set that mixed old with new, their 45 minute headline slot flashed by and I could easily have watched them for another 45 minutes, ending their set on a triumphant acapella version of 'Evil Thoughts' it kind of rounds it off perfectly, and to be quite honest, I'm absolutely itching to see them again.

By the time Foxy Shazam had finished, Tiger Please were around a song into their set in the upstairs room, and to be blunt, they were absolutely killing it. I say that, not only because it was the only turn of phrase I could think of that could describe Tiger Please, but it sets a precedent for the entire set that I was about to see.

Playing a run through of their debut album first; hits such as "Without Country" go down an absolute storm and the interlude into "This Side Of Town" is honestly one of the most atmospheric and brilliant things I've seen at a live show (including Muse at their prime) I can only hope they never drop it out of their set because it's genuine moment that not only lets you stop and think for a bit, but it's like a wall of sound that embraces you and lets you feel the music. It's a rare thing to find these days, but Tiger Please did it.

Once the runthrough of the album was complete, the band focussed their attentions on their most recent release, "Seasons" and onto giving us a peek of whats to come, giving an outing to two new songs, both of which go down an absolute storm, especially the run through of the Seasons EP (excluding 'Summer In The House Of Confessions') which forced mass singalongs from the crowd which in turn, gave the much improved frontman Leon Stanford quite possibly the worlds biggest grin, everytime the words were sung back at him.

Finishing their set on a new song, the band leave the stage to a massive reception, looking hugely appreciative and somewhat emotional, last time I saw Tiger Please, I claimed they would rise to fame and end up playing arenas around the country, this outing has done that opinion no harm whatsoever, in fact, if anything, it's just enhanced it and judging by the quality of the two new songs heard tonight, that rise could be something meteoric.

All in all, this night can only be described as special, because that's exactly what it was, it was incredible, each and every band brought something different to the table and did so with style, I can only urge you to go see each and every one of these bands whenever they're in your area, I know for a fact that, individually, you'll get a fantastic show anyway, but tonight, with them all together in the same venue, despite it being two separate shows, it was an absolute triumph for music.

Chris Marshman

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