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Ben Folds - 6th July - Barbican, London

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Tonight Ben Folds graced the stage of London’s Barbican, but this time with a twist from his usual performance, tonight he’s bring an Orchestra with him, to be specific, The Heritage Orchestra.  

Opening the night up with his song ‘Effington’ which was a perfect way to start the show with acapella vocals and what a show is was. 

Ben Folds is not only a brilliant singer song writer, but also a wonderful performer and musician. With many songs telling a story with such emotion and at times wit, his dynamic piano based music adds even more to the stories and with a live orchestra backing him, it makes for a larger than life sound. 

Having been present in the music industry since the late 80’s, Ben Folds has a lot of experience backing him and it shows in his performance. Being connected to a number of acts from all genres, doing solo work himself and being in Ben Folds Five which he once described as “punk rock for sissies” has really allowed him to grow into the artist he is today. 


He played a number of fan favourites like ‘Fred Jones Part 2’, ‘Landed’ ‘Gracie’, ‘Jesusland’ and ‘Brick’ that went down very well with the audience. He spent time explaining many of the meanings and anecdotes behind the songs. When playing ‘Picture Window’ he explained that the process for writing the song (and album ‘Lonely Avenue’) was very “high tech”, as writer, Nick Hornby would email him the lyrics and he would write the music, the high tech bit being the use of emails. 


Towards the end of the first half of the performance, Ben Folds show cased his new piano concerto, that he worked for a year on and what a sublime piece of music it was, truly showing the talent and musical genius behind the man, a striking piece of music. 


During the second half Ben Folds began to be heckled by the crowd,  a member from the pit shouted ‘ROCK THIS BITCH’ which is a concept that Ben Folds has been doing since 2002, where he has to create a song on the spot, some go well and so well not so much. Luckily for the crowd tonight it was a success and within a few minutes he had created a song from scratch that used all parts of the orchestra. Ones again showing just how much talent this man has. 


Ben Folds even took his production talents to the crowd when he managed to get an enter audience to harmonies during the songs ‘Not The Same and ‘Army’ which he finished the night on. 


This was  an excellent night for music and Ben Folds. 


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