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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Kerrang! | March 11th 1995 | Issue 536


Fans narrowly escape injury as Faith No More kick off UK club tour! More petulant Patton antics as the Bay Area bruisers blast out eclectic new material!



The Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth

Mark Blake

PLENTY OF chirpy asides to the audience can't deflect the wave of polite disinterest that greets opening act Shihad. Still unknown in the UK, the New Zealanders' scattergun delivery of numbing riffs fail to win over tonight's crowd. Undeterred, they grin and crack jokes, while singer Jon Toogood demonstrates an impressive 360-degree headbang.

Shame, then, that Shihad's winning cocktail of Killing Joke and Sepultura is not to everyone's taste.

One punter jokingly enquires whether Mike Patton will be eating his shit onstage tonight, such is the notoriety of Faith No More's singer's supposed dietary habits. Ironically, the headliners make their battering ram entrance with 'Cuckoo For Caca', from the new 'King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime' album. The song is a moshpit pleaser, but in all honesty it's also... er, shite. In contrast to such a throwaway opener, 'Be Aggressive' jars the senses

brilliantly, a trick repeated by 'Midlife Crisis' and 'The Real Thing' Then things take another nosedive.

On numerous occasions, Patton stops singing and utters a sound akin to a water buffalo receiving a nuclear warhead suppository. The crowd winces and looks bored. Pacing the stage in circles, the singer only acknowledges his surroundings when a lighting tower topples into the audience, thankfully without any disastrous consequences. The tetchiness and prickly persona is part of Patton's undoubted appeal, but his dismissive onstage performance is really wearing thin. Nobody here wants or expects cheesy platitudes and a text-book vocal delivery, but at times the singer's attitude stinks of disinterest and sheer arrogance.

As the rest of Faith No More slide irrevocably towards middle age, perhaps Patton feels the need to offset his partners' increasing years and musical bravura by remaining the caterwauling surf brat, bellowing over the old hits and snubbing his audience just to keep them on their toes. It's just a theory, but with new guitarist Dean Menta in the place of the undeniably very Metal Jim Martin, FNM now look strangely respectable, and there's a force of delivery in this band's overall sound that just wasn't there on the last tour.

The set itself is shrewdly loaded with familiar items to off-set against the new material. But 'Digging The Grave' and 'Evidence', in particular, are ideal bedfellows for 'From Out Of Nowhere', 'Easy', 'We Care A Lot' and an encore of the Chuck Mosely-era track 'The Crab Song'.

Predictably, the spooky fairground keyboard and juddering rhythm of 'Epic' reminds you that, however much Patton fluffs his lines, it's still one of the most exhilarating Rock songs of the last 10 years.

Brilliant, but often brilliantly bad, Faith No More are as frustrating as ever.

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