Fanfarlo – Johnny Brenda’s 11/01/11
I know this post is overdue…life moves fast these days.
Last week, I attended Fanfarlo's concert on the first of the month at the magic Johnny Brenda’s. This was the third time I had the pleasure to see the London-based band live. I should start by saying that when their previous album “Reservoir” was released in 2009, the band was questioned about their musical similarity to Arcade Fire. People had reservations on their originality and some completely disregard the beauty of the album, which in my opinion is among the best we have had in recent years.
This time, Fanfarlo is back with a set of new songs, which will eventually become part of their new soon to be released album (February 2012) entitled “Rooms Filled with Light”. Fanfarlo’s new approach is not just original; it is fresh and removes any doubt about the greatness of the band led by Simon Balthazar and Cathy Lucas. At the same time, and probably just to satisfy the skeptics, it clearly shows deep influences on well-known and established artists and music genres.
What remains clear of course is that the band is changing; it is morphing into something they might not even know what it is. But the evolution is evident in their sound, in their show, which incorporates great imagery, and even in their own appearance. Their new songs depart from their lighter, acoustic folk that we heard in “Reservoir”, incorporating instead a significant amount of electronic elements where synthesizers take over. Evidently the new album talks about their need to pursue new ways, to explore new and old recipes in search of their true sound. Their idea of "a nuclear submarine falling from space…", when referring to their new album, appears to gain credibility when you see them live these days.
But all this change is good. Simon Balthazar vocals remain infectious and Cathy Lucas soft chorus, keyboards and violins still provide a delicate balance to their music…
Trust me, this will be one of your choices for best albums in 2012.
The set-list of that night was decorated with new songs, including of course the recently released “Replicate” and “Deconstruction”, which mixed flawlessly with old favorites like “I’m a Pilot”, “Comets” and “Luna”. Among the new songs, “Tunguska”, “Bones” and “Shiny Things” are for sure worth noting. After leaving the stage for a couple of minutes, the band returned with a perfect encore including “Finish Line” and “The Walls are coming down”
I leave you with the set-list of that night and a clip from “Shiny Things” from their recent show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC (October 25).
Fanfarlo - Johnny Brenda’s – Nov 1, 2011
I’m a Pilot
Harold T. Wilkins
Shiny Things (NEW)
The Walls are Coming Down