Fanfarlo at Rough Trade East
Once the French literature critic Francis S Heck wrote about La Fanfarlo, the famous prose by Charles Baudelaire: “…it would seem that by this ironic approach Baudelaire infuses his peculiar quality into the work and that it gains a certain originality.” Similarly it is possible to apply all of these characteristics to the music of the English band Fanfarlo too. In fact, as the prose of Baudelaire was rich in irony and originality, in the same way the five members of this band play a clever and rich music, with a twist of sarcasm as well.
The band emerged in 2009 with the excellent debut album Reservoir and with the superb single Fire Escape, followed up by Rooms Filled with Lights in 2012 and by the EP The Sea in 2013. Now it’s time for a third long playing record, entitled Let’s Go Extinct, and for a small and (semi) unplugged live set at Rough Trade East in Brick Lane, before the big show at the Village Underground on 11th February. The music of the band is a personal revisitation and mix of a classic indie-folk and pop styles, with some features from names like Talking Heads (the voice of the leader is reminiscent of David Byrne), These New Puritans and Dirty Projectors. For this show, Fanfarlo decided to come onstage in an unplugged version, sat on their stools with classic instruments such as trumpet, violin and a musical saw, besides the more conventional guitar, bass, drum and a keyboard. This arrangement, made up of folk, prog and pop, worked perfectly during the 40 minutes of the show, engaging and entertaining the audience and showing a band in good condition (despite some logistical problems for the singer, who claimed “I am without a home at the moment”).
Songs like the new single Landlocked, or Painting with Life and Grey and Gold took on a new shade and dimension in this acoustic/unplugged set, but for sure, the personal voice of the singer Simon Balthazar was unchanged. And so secured the affection and love of the fans, who managed to join the gig even during a Monday lunch.
Photos: Adam Bennett
For further information and future events visit Fanfarlo’s website here.
Watch the video for Landlocked here: