Part 2 of our extensive retrospective on Faith No More in the UK.
1993: Jim’s farewell
The tour and Angel Dust had copperfastened FNM’s status as a popular band in the UK and in January their Commodores cover Easy, a double A side with Be Aggressive, peaked at number 3 in the UK charts. There was to be no UK tour in 1993 but they did play the Phoenix Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon on 17 July, Jim Martin’s final gig with the band.
Finally, for ’93, Another Body Murdered from the Judgement Night soundtrack reached number 26 in the UK charts.
1995: Back to the UK
As soon as King for a Day…was wrapped up Faith No More hit the UK for the first leg of their European tour to promote. Indeed, the tour started in Windsor on 1 March almost two weeks before the album release date. In all they played nine dates in the UK and also found time for appearances on Top of the Pops (below) and the MTV Europe Most wanted show.
The same month Faith No More also featured in the then popular and now defunct British music magazine Select. (Check the full excellent article here). Sample quote: “”I have to say,” Billy explains, “I didn’t like Mike the first couple of years he was in the band, I thought some of the things he did were pretty immature. But he’s done really well. When he joined the band he was a fucking brat, an arrogant little baby, a child. He looked awful but he was the only guy we tried that really worked, but we had to take a fucking lot on. Here was this unsophisticated kid who’d never sipped alcohol before, never been in a bar, and we were all these crusty fucking guys. I felt pretty responsible for bringing this nice happy kid into this band, but he sang well. He was a lamb – he didn’t stand a chance.”
On 3 March they again featured on the Channel 4 show The Word, where they performed What a Day and an unscheduled I Started a Joke when they were due to perform Easy (below). It also featured their legendary interview with an unresearched show host Terry Christian. Embedding is disabled on that clip but its well worth a watch here.
1995: Phoenix again
The band returned to Europe for the festival season and they again played the Phoenix Festival on 15 July with the following set list:
The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies
What A Day
King For A Day
Digging The Grave
Just A Man
Glory Box (Portishead)
We Care A Lot
I Started A Joke (Bee Gees)
Take This Bottle
In the build-up to that show, Kerrang Magazine featured an interview with Bill. Sample exchange: “K!: The Phoenix festival – a pinnacle? BG: “Definitely. Just because it’s England – where our biggest crowd and biggest supporters are.”
1995: Chart update
Indeed, Faith No More were still a chart band in the UK, with King for a Day peaking at number 5 in the UK album chart in March with the Digging the Grave single hitting number 16 the same month. Later in the year Ricochet and Evidence peaked at 27 and 32 in the singles countdown.
1997: Top of the Pops and more
Once more the UK was FNM’s first port of call as soon as they wrapped their latest album, Album of the Year and they appeared on BBC Radio 1 on 22 April performing four songs: Ashes To Ashes, Midlife Crisis, Last Cup Of Sorrow and The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies. The band returned for three dates in Glasgow, Nottingham and the London Astoria in May and also found time for TV appearances on TFI Friday (clip here) and Top of the Pops, where they were introduced by the Spice Girls, took umbrage at being asked to mime and featured Robin Guy of UK band Sack Trick on drums. The performance also featured Mike Patton flicking the finger at the stand-in drummer, which prompted a typically self-righteous diatribe in The Sun.
Also in May, the band were once more the subjects of a lengthy feature in Kerrang. The promo work paid off with Ashes to Ashes reaching number 15 in the singles chart that month and Album of the Year debuting at number 7 in June.
1997: Final Phoenix
The band returned for a third festival appearance at the Phoenix Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon – their final UK festival appearance until this week – and played the following set:
Last Cup Of Sorrow
Home Sick Home
Naked In Front Of The Computer
I Started A Joke
Ashes To Ashes
Just A Man
1997: Final dates
Faith No More returned to the UK for five ultimately final dates in November and December. As well as yet another Brixton gig and a second TFI Friday performance, the band played Cambridge, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow. So much for the big finish, but no set list exists for Glasgow so here’s the one from Nottingham:Midnight Cowboy
This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
Ashes to Ashes
Naked in Front of the Computer
King for a Day
As the Worm Turns
Last Cup Of Sorrow
Just a Man
This Guy Is In Love With You
1998; Chart finale
A re-issued Ashes to Ashes peaked at number 29 in January 1998 and in November their first greatest hits collection Who Cares a Lot? reached number 37 in the album charts.