Live Review: Faith No More, Hammersmith Odeon, 27th April, 1990

It seems from the word go that this evening’s proceedings are very likely to get somewhat vigorous. This it does from the moment the band quite litrerally bundle onto the stage. Coming onto and starting with the amazing From Out Of Nowhere, we are shown that FNM mean business.

The crowd, which appear to be divided into 3 categories – hard core fan, funk fan and just plain inquisitive – go nuts and the majority are now well and truly turned on for the rest of the gig.

The positively funky Falling To Pieces has us all singing along (including the unbelievably out of tune neighbour to my right!) and by now all feet are without a doubt grooving. Mike Patton, wearing what can only be described as sawn-off slacks, is attempting his, by now, well-known crazy cocktail of body-popping and head banging. I suppose that ‘body-banging’ would be an apt way of putting it and I’m wondering how long it’s going to take him to bounce his way off the edge of the stage into the waiting open arms of FNM’s adoring fans.

Bass player Bill Gould and guitarist Jim Martin, on the other hand, don’t move around very much at all, instead choosing to manoeuvre their heads in such a manner that they tend to resemble those little nodding dogs you usually find sitting in the rear window of your Granny's car.

By now, Patton has long the British Bobby's Bonnet that was previously perched cheekily on top of his flowing tresses (I’d murder for hair like that!) and the familiar opening bars of the pretty morbid Underwater Love are to be heard. This, being one of the best numbers in the set, goes down well with all the punters, rock and rap fans alike. "Is anybody sitting down? 'Cos if you sit down, we sit down," yells Patton. "Can y'all snap your fingers like this?" is his way of inviting the crowd to join in with a bit of audience participation on the barroom bluesy Edge Of The World with its lusty keyboards courtesy of Roddy Bottum and heavy bass line supplied by Gould. We are treated to a few lines of the infamous Pump Up The Jam a la Faith No More before the band throw themselves headfirst into a robust delivery of We Care a Lot. This is turn fuses with Epic, the chorus of which everybody is ow familiar with.

FNM leave the stage and return again much to the delight of the spectators to do Zombie Eaters. I don’t know what Mike Patton has been eating but halfway through the blissful beginning of the tune he belches loud and proud whilst rubbing his stomach with a satisfied look on his face and dangling his feet off the edge of the stage.

But, they say, all good things must come to an end and maybe it’s not such a bad thing as by now it’s slowly all getting a little tedious to watch and listen to. Faith No More finish off the set and are gone. Time to go methinks, so I depart with the rest of the crowd as sober as a judge (hey, this IS Hammersmith Odeon!) and a little unsure about the whole thing, but feeling quite happy that I’ve witnessed this mad band’s crazed funk-rock performance, wind n’ all.

Alison Burke
Riff Raff
27th April, 1990
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