There is often an energy to live music unattainable even by air guitar-ing to iTunes with your bedroom curtains closed. However only on the rarest of nights, at a hipster’s paradise known as Cargo, does a band unapologetically blow you away and degenerate your highest quality mp3 of their latest album one song at a time. From now on, whenever the first few beats of ‘Just Because’ begin to play, they will only sound flat and second rate in contrast to the fibrillated chords Funeral Party smashed out for their encore.
Chad Elliot’s (Vocals, Samples and Keyboards) voice is unfaltering, whether he is artistically positioning himself on speakers, parading the microphone stand like a trophy, or being taken off-guard by the guitarist adding in a (drunken?) diversion from the original melody. From his first step on stage Chad was casually confident. Too cool in his leather jacket, moustache combo, to acknowledge the other members standing beside him, let alone the gathering of fans before him. Tambourine in hand, Funeral Party broke open their set list, dragging the crowd into a sweaty whirlpool of moshing in less than a song.
Once bored of the speakers, tambourine, microphone- stand, lead and all- he moved to his keyboard for a dramatic instrumental, undeterred by Kimo Kauhola (bass) blocking our view. His new toy was his only audience, the one thing that could humour him in that moment. Kimo was less blasé in the face of the spotlight. He amped up his performance to welcome our newly gained, although inadvertent, attention- only turning to take tabs on Chad’s whereabouts, presumably in fear that when the novelty wore off the keyboard, he would make a move for his bass.
The night was hardly insightful into the psyche of Funeral Party; there were no conversational interludes, throw-away banter or even introductions between the numbers, which was made more noticeable by the intimate 300 guest capacity. The few words said- over the prolonged, anticipatory introduction to ‘Finale’- were only to advertise upcoming tour dates around London.
But did this attitude put any of us off (as much as being charged £6.50 for a glass of wine)? To be honest, it probably gave momentum to the energetic atmosphere of the night, bypassing any awkward chit-chat and moshers left stranded in silence. And Chad was sure to prove his love to us by showering us in beer at the height of ‘Chalice’.
The crowd itself was not the young, indie Londoners that presumably account for many of their Youtube views. City men who had apparently been at the pub all day, with a week’s worth of energy waiting to be unleashed against each other and anyone in the circumference, hogged the floor.
Ultimately the Funeral Party experience is finding yourself in a sweaty high, an hour in the future, with no idea where the time went and why there is beer all down your tights. Is this an experience you would necessarily want? Well, it’s highly addictive. The morning after my night at Cargo, I booked to see them at Heaven in May!