Review: Ben Folds Five, Rock City
IN the mid-1990s the alt-rock scene was dominated by angry young men wielding guitars.
But in the background a refreshingly original band comprising of piano, bass guitar and drums were also playing.
This was Ben Folds Five, a trio providing intelligent, amusing and poignant songs. They released three full-length albums and then suddenly packed it in.
Thirteen years later, Ben Folds Five are back with a new album. Rock City was buzzing with expectation and the audience were not disappointed.
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After the two initial slow burners of Michael Praytor, Five Years Later and Missing The War, the band picked up the pace and maintained it for the rest of the show.
Ben Folds, singer and pianist, is renowned for his anecdotes while doing solo tours but with his two old bandmates on stage, he was more than content to keep the songs coming, one after the other. Indeed a full hour passed before the band took a moment to have a quick chat with the crowd about the recent US Presidential election and to perform a quick jam about Nottingham. The band seemed relaxed and fed off the energy from the crowd. Tonight provided a good mix of songs from all four albums. Songs from the debut received the biggest cheers while hushed reverence was witnessed during Brick before exploding into full-blown euphoria during Kate and Army.
After the main set, the cheers reached a cacophonous level and the balcony shook. The encore comprised Song For The Dumped (including gratuitous swearing) and Underground, the band's attempt at joining their alt-rock peers.
Let's just hope we don't have to wait so long before seeing them perform again.