We had planned a huge retrospective of Faith No More’s previous Brixton Academy dates on this, the day of the opening date of the Second Coming Tour, as Faith No More play their first date since 1998 at the renamed 02 Academy Brixton. However, after the epic UK posts we’re reduced our ambitions somewhat, so this will be a slightly shorter selection but, at over 900 words, not too short.

28 April 1990
Faith No More were no strangers to London by they time they made their iconic Brixton debut having played at the Marquee, Astoria and Hammersmith Odeon previously. The gig is course famous for forming the basis of the band’s only ever live release. The album version entitled You Fat Bastards was released in August 1990 while a video release, more soberly titled Live at the Brixton Academy, got a UK release on 4 February 1991.
The actual gig set list differed from the track listing on both records and was the following:
From Out Of Nowhere
Falling To Pieces
Introduce Yourself
The Real Thing
Underwater Love
As The Worm Turns
The Crab Song
Edge Of The World
The Morning After
Chinese Arithmetic
We Care A Lot
Surprise! You’re Dead!
Epic
Woodpecker From Mars
Zombie Eaters
Why Do You Bother?
War Pigs (Black Sabbath)
Easy

Video clip is Epic featuring the Technotronic Pump Up the Jam ad-lib – possibly my most vivid memory of becoming a diehard Faith No More fan.

Allmusic reviewed the video release. Sample quote: “While the hour-long video shows that Patton was still finding his vocal style (he relies on a nasal-like whine too often), and his stage persona was comparable to a bratty child (obviously poking fun at the larger-than-life and far too serious metal acts of the late-80’s/early-90’s), the band as a whole offers a thoroughly inspired performance.”

25, 26, 27 November 1992

Mike P at Brixton 27 November 1992 © 1995-2002 Stefan Negele

Mike P at Brixton 27 November 1992 © 1995-2002 Stefan Negele

Faith No More returned to Brixton for the Angel Dust tour and played three successive nights with the set list differing each night. The Teach Me Violence fanzine summed up the final night of the run: “The gig goes very well; Patton is even wearing one of the new, neat Dominator t-shirts, what a fine dresser! And at the end of ‘Woodpecker’ he re-emerges on stage to drink a birthday toast to Puffy… I won’t say what he drank, but there was a shoe full of it!!! The show ended with a great encore — both ‘As the Worm Turns’ and ‘Why do you Bother’ are played with the pure rush of venom they demand. Nothing can ever better that kinda standard.”
Final night set list:
Caffine
Falling To Pieces
Land Of Sunshine
The Crab Song
Midlife Crisis
Chinese Arithmetic
RV
Surprise! You’re Dead!
Happy Birthday to Puffy
Be Aggressive
Introduce Yourself
Easy
Crack Hitler
We Care A Lot
Woodpecker From Mars
Jizzlobber
Epic
Kindergarten
Let’s Lynch The Landlord (Dead Kennedys)
Everything’s Ruined
As The Worm Turns
Why Do You Bother?

29 November 1997
Five years later Faith No More returned to London and Brixton on the Album of the Year tour.  Thankfully there is no shortage of material for this gig. First up the set list:
Midnight Cowboy
Land Of Sunshine
Midlife Crisis
Naked In Front Of The Computer
Ashes To Ashes
Stripsearch
Easy
Introduce Yourself
The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies
Last Cup Of Sorrow
Home Sick Home
King For A Day
Epic
Get Out
Just A Man
This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us (with Sparks)
Be Aggressive
This Guy’s In Love With You
Pristina

Then a snippet of a review that featured on BBC Radio 1 from Ron Mael of Sparks: “Even a fan running on stage and having Mike Patton giving the cross sign as if he was trying to hex a vampire I thought was a special touch. Their choice of cover songs is unbelievable because they did “This Guy’s in Love With You”, you won’t hear Metallica doing that, but I mean I love songs like Epic. I think that that’s one of the great songs of the recent past. I thought the concert was was brilliant and that within, sort of, I hate to use the term, “heavy genre”, but we’ll use that in this case that Faith No More, I think are the best of these bands, because they are the most ambitious.”

Next a clip:

I’ve also managed to unearth a review of the gig from London-based broadsheet The Independent. Here are a few sample quotes to finish and I look forward to reading many, many similar reviews tomorrow on tonight’s comeback gig.
“The hard rock band come on in suits and ties, and play the theme from Midnight Cowboy. Slowly, mournfully, for six minutes. The hard rock crowd whoop with glee. don’t care about proprieties. They’re on stage to stretch people’s minds. Their best album, 1992’s Angel Dust, was better than Nirvana’s Nevermind, its angst leavened with wit, happy to quote from Shostakovich or Tom Waits.”

“But what stitches each strange twist together is something the band’s one-time grunge contemporaries would have gagged on: Patton’s unremitting sense of showmanship. He’s here to entertain us. His rock ‘n’ roll patter is of the smoothest kind. But Patton doesn’t need to talk. Never losing the stylish cut of his suit, he smirks, emotes, howls, at one point seems about to take off, convinced he can fly. When Sparks come on for This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us, Patton bellows: “And it ain’t me who’s gonna leave!” you have to believe him.”