Funeral Party take over Carnaby Street

I really wish I could have read the thoughts of the unmusically inclined passers-by, as they tried to figure out why a 60-long queue were looking quite so excited and impatient to get into something billed in the shop front as a ‘Funeral Party’. I didn’t dwell too long though. Inside, the Gola store was a colourful Valhalla for feet. The counter had become a bar, the shelves were drink rests, and the far end of the shop, a space cleared for performance, was occupied by the readying support act; Wild Palms.

The One Little Indian young bloods are as musically intellectual as their references suggest. Song references to Nabakov and a name inspired by Faulkner were bold hints at the mesmerising, yet complex, indie-electronic set we expected and received. Each melodic approach wore its Neu! and Billy Childish influences quite boldly on its sleeve, yet with a unique musical address that was personal to Wild Palms. ‘Delight In Temptation’ was absorbing, as it was infectious, and it closed a charmingly bite sized set.

Funeral Party took to the centred floor space, that I felt inclined to call a stage, inhaled the sights of the hundred eyes around them in one casting glance, before easing into the gentle organ tones of ‘Golden Age of Knowhere’. A song that rests within it’s own woozy intro for all of ten seconds, before bursting into a tempo boosting wave of danceable post-punk, contradicting any preface that this would be a ‘stripped back’ performance.

In such an intimate setting, watered by a free bar loaded with Estonia’s finest lager and buckets of Kopparberg, it’s understandable that the murmur of social chatter would rise between each song. Funeral party seemed to embrace this as a challenge, making it their mission to ensure that the opening note of each track would immediately cut through and silence this. ‘Youth & Poverty’ was their weapon of choice for this, a perfect mid-set peak, showcasing the band at their intensely Rapture-esque best, with fitful beats and well-pitched shrieks.

A succinct and exact six song set culminated with the confidently lyricised and geographically smug ‘NYC Moves To The LA Sound’, and one person’s subtle, near-stage dancing became viral. For a place that plies it’s trade as a boutique shoe shop, the Gola store wore the identity of a pop-up music venue quite naturally.

Words by Joe Zadeh
Photos by Marc Sethi

Trace the origins of Funeral Party, by travelling through musical heritage with Gola's Classics With A Twist


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