After suffering declining record sales, a devastating studio fire last summer which destroyed all of their gear and studio tapes, and the inevitable strain of trying to juggle family life with road life, the band made the tough decision to disband shortly after the release of Guilt earlier this year. Subsequently the band announced several local show dates around the Dallas/Fort Worth area this past summer, culminating with their farewell show at Tomcats West in Fort Worth. Performing with the most recent lineup of Nick Nowell on vocals, Andy Godwin on lead guitar, Jonny Richardson on bass, Jon Tooley on second guitar, and former Devourment drummer, Brad Fincher on skins, The Famine ripped through an absolute killer set.
Rain poured outside and anticipation filled the air in Tomcats as Nowell kicked off the night enthusiastically proclaiming, “We’re The Famine, from Dallas, Texas, let’s do this one more time, here we go!” The band opened their 11-song set, going straight for the throat of middle-class arm-chair politicians, with the sixth song off Guilt, “The Crown and The Holy See”, followed up quickly by the two best songs off Reaping, “Behemoth” and “Consume, Devour, Repeat”. It was great to see these veterans effortlessly tear through all the crowd favorites as every band member reached out and connected with their most loyal fans. Throughout the night there was noticeable positivity in the air and I couldn’t help but notice that these guys really do enjoy what they do, which made it even sadder to see them go.
Toward the end, the ever articulate Nowell was a bit emotional as he hesitantly announced their last song ever as a band, “Stitched In Plastic”, followed by a surprise cover of Pantera’s “Domination”. A few weeks before the last show the band also recorded the “Domination” cover which will be released as the last demo ever from The Famine.
I got to chat a bit afterwards with Andy Godwin and he was very happy to see me wearing my ooold Embodyment shirt from back in the day when the band was all still in high school. I felt it only proper to commemorate the end of era from where it first began.
I will remember The Famine from early 2007 as the mysterious band that buzzed through the internet underground with rumors of early-era Embodyment aggression. I will remember the closeness with which I followed their studio progression on YouTube anticipating a face-melting record which promised not to disappoint. I will remember The Famine with great respect as a bunch of guys my age made the noble decision to forsake well paying careers to instead create great music. I will remember the pain I felt as tragedy struck their studio and the tenacity they exhibited as they hunkered down and started recording a record from scratch again. I will remember the day the coffin finally closed and I shook hands with Andy Godwin thanking him for all the great years. Farewell and may our ears always ring, “All hail the dark new campaign!!!”
Here's a link to the video I took.