Fanfarlo - Union Transfer- Philadelphia

On Thursday March 8, 2012 I attended Fanfarlo’s show at the beautiful Union Transfer on Spring Garden Av. in Philly. Overall, this was my fourth Fanfarlo’s concert and the second already from their “Rooms Filled with Light” tour.

Back in 2009, people argued about the resemblance of their music to that of Arcade Fire or Beirut. Back then on this blog I wrote “… In spite of the greatness of their first album Reservoir, …, I for one certainly remained cautious about the expectations placed on this new British band, whose music resembled almost a Lego construct of Funeral and The Flying Club Cup….”… my post continued describing how that changed after seeing them live for the first time at the tiny Kung Fu Necktie (< 50 people)…

Things have changed for the band led by Simon Balthazar and Cathy Lucas, and the almost full house at the Union Transfer on Thursday shows for sure that this band is now too big for a night at the Kung Fu Necktie…but perhaps more importantly, it shows that Fanfarlo though still a collection of young musicians, has evolved into a strong band with a simple formula based on textures and simple rhythms delivered flawlessly through multiple horns, strings, keyboards and percussions.

The set-list on Thursday had a nice balance of songs from “Rooms Filled with Light” and “Reservoir”. Through the night, the band faced sound issues…” This is what happens when you bring your own electrical panels to America” , Simon said. Still, the band delivered great versions of old favorites including “Comets”, “I’m a Pilot”, and “Harold T. Wilkins, Or How To Wait For A Very Long Time”, which provided a powerful parenthesis before the encore that included “Bones” and “The Walls are coming down”.

Last November, after their show at Johnny Brenda’s I anticipated that “Rooms Filled with Light” would certainly be one of our choices for 2012. No doubt I was right, and the evolution of the band is clear in this album that feels fresh, original and that includes songs that transcend into different paths, some that seem new to Fanfarlo, and perhaps new to us as well. But then again, we’ll gladly follow this band, wherever their music take us.

I leave you with the set-list of that night and two clips that show the evolution of the band in 3 years…”Comets” from 2009 and “Tightrope” from this year.



Fanfarlo – Union Transfer – March 8, 2012

1 Replicate
2 Tightrope
3 Feathers
4 I'm a Pilot
5 Lenslife
6 Comets
7 De-construction
8 Finish Line
9 A Flood (With "Atlas" intro)
10 Luna
11 Dig
12 Shiny Things
13 Harold T. Wilkins, Or How To Wait For A Very Long Time


14 Bones
15 The Walls Are Coming Down

Comets (Reservoir) -Live Daily Sessions - 2009

Tightrope (Rooms Filled with Light) –Live Session 2012

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