Fanfarlo @ Union Transfer 3/8/12

Published on March 22nd, 2012

London based indie-folk turned pseudo-electronic outfit, Fanfarlo, graced us with their presence earlier this month.  The Union Transfer, a venue still in its infancy seemed like the perfect setting for this show.  The building itself is regal and timeless yet modern without being imposing: a perfect analog of the band.  It’s not exactly common to see bands making good use of the violin as well as a Moog synthesizer, let alone have the same person play both of them in addition to singing.  Despite pulling triple duty, Cathy Lucas performed admirably, joking in between songs that, “This is maybe the nicest place we’ve played maybe ever, the green room is like a palace.”

I must confess I was somewhat apprehensive about seeing them play in support of the new album, fittingly titled, Rooms Filled With Light.  As mentioned previously, Fanfarlo eschewed their signature folkish vibe in favor of something a little closer to New Order.  After the initial shock wore off I came to realize that these are some really solid songs, and at the core of the matter, it is in large part the same band we heard on Reservoir.  I found that Fanfarlo struck a great balance between playing the album versions as they were recorded, and performing in a more organic style.

The result was fantastic: new tracks opened up a little more while older material got a fresh spin.  It was plain to see that everybody was having a great time performing, which almost always amounts to a great show.  Even during electrical issues partway through their set, they all took it in stride while front man Simon Balthazar joked around with the audience.  All in all this was a feel good show, and it’s incredibly refreshing to see a band get as excited about a show as the audience.

Written by Ben

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