Roger Waters: US + THEM. Live DVD

  The Strokes Are Back!

  Within Temptation Single & Tour


  The Reads Return in Style

  Pink Floyd YouTube Festival

  New Album Reviews

  Clem Snide, An LP For Now

  Montreux Jazz Fest at Home!

  Photojournalism Hero

  Shelby Lynne New LP

  Samantha Fish Live

  Black Deer Festival Latest

  Gill Landry Live in Chester

  Jeff Lynne’s ELO Tour Cancelled

  Noah Gundersen Live

  David Gilmour’s Interview

  Snow Patrol Live in Manchester

  New Model Army Live

  Shakespears Sister Live

  Lamb Live in Manchester

  The Struts Live

  Camden Rocks 2019 - Day 2

  Camden Rocks 2019 - Day 1

  Sting & Shaggy Live

  Blancmange & Bernholz Live

  Ana Popovic, Lynne Jackaman Live

  David Gray Live in Liverpool

  The Slow Readers Club Live

  Isreal Nash & Joana Serrat Live

  Karine Polwart Trio Live

  Spear Of Destiny Live

  Benjamin Folke Thomas Live

  Chilly Gonzales Live

  Gomez Live in Manchester

  John Lennon Interview

  Anna Burch Live

  My 100 Greatest Albums

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Stick In The Wheel Live

  Halo Maud, Baxter Dury Live

  Matthew Logan Vasquez Live

  The Barr Brothers Live

  Emily Barker Live in Manchester

  Katey Brooks New Single/Album

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Tori Amos Live

  Bush & RavenEye Live

  Grandaddy Live

  Laura Marling Live

  Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

  Martha Wainwright Live

  A Thousand Horses Live

  Rachael Yamagata Live

  Jimmy Eat World Live

  Beverley Knight Live

  Ludovico Einaudi Live

  Courtney Barnett Live

  Mercury Rev Live

  Roger Waters on Amused To Death

Ben Folds & yMusic Live


Lera Lynn in Support

Liverpool Philharmonic, 15 June 2016

Back in 1999 the Ben Folds 5 released an album called The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner which I regard as something of a pop classic. I had just started out in this game and managed to secure a pass for the band’s concert in Manchester. However, I didn’t manage to secure an interview but udaunted, hung around after the show and spotted Folds in a passageway on his own away from protective Sony staff. I pounced and secured a short but interesting interview with him pinned up against a wall! During the interview I asked why the track ‘Army’ had been selected to release as the first single - which ultimately received little radio support. He said that Sony had picked it as the lead single and to my suggestion it should have been ‘Narcolpsy’ he replied “wow, that’s radical!”


At tonight’s show in the acoustically wonderful Liverpool Philharmonic I hoped against hope that he and the yMusic orchestral sextet would perform a version of the song. But No. Instead we heard several other Ben Folds 5 classics including that damned “Army” (which of course I also like a lot).

Playing with Folds is the USA hybrid orchestral sextet yMusic. yMusic is a group of six New York City instrumentalists flourishing in the overlap between the pop and classical worlds. Their virtuosic execution and unique configuration (string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet) has attracted the attention of high profile collaborators — from Ben Folds to Dirty Projectors to Jose Gonzalez — and more recently inspired an expanding repertoire of original works by some of today’s foremost composers.


In 2014, yMusic released Balance Problems, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2011’s Beautiful Mechanical (Time Out New York’s #1 Classical Record of the Year). The record features stunning new compositions from Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Norman, Mark Dancigers, Jeremy Turner, Marcos Balter, and Timo Andres, all realised through the ensemble’s striking performances.

Since their inception in 2008, yMusic has striven to bring a classical chamber music aesthetic to venues outside the traditional concert hall. Its members have individually toured and recorded with artists such as Bon Iver, Paul Simon, Bjork, The National, Meredith Monk, Antony & the Johnsons, David Byrne, The New York Philharmonic and Sufjan Stevens.


The stage was set with all musicians placed in a V-form shape with Folds’ piano located behind a large black board at the sharp point of the V - the furthest point away from the audience. A drummer was hidden from view, behind the other musicians. yMusic opened the show with their own composition and teh title track from their 20111 album, “Beautiful Mechanical”. It certainly set the scene with strong melody and music that ebbed and flowed with some dramatic crescendos. Folds then appeared and settled at his piano to play the first example of this rather clever pop/chamber orchestra collaboration.


“So There” is the album’s title track which behind the sublime orchestration and instrumental performance kept that distinctive Folds trademark sound.

Folds with that recogniseable, youthful voice melded perfectly with the assembled musicians as several songs from the collaborative album were played. “Phone In A Pool” was my favourite from the new album but Folds and friends played some lovely versions of Ben Folds 5 songs including a superb version of “Mess” which he claimed had been covered many times by Johnny Cash.

There can be few better frontmen than Folds who throughout made witty observations and interplayed well with his young and very skilled musicians (who also provided some quality backing vocals). The show was beyond reproach save for one minor aspect: Folds was logistically too far away from his audience and two-thirds hidden (see images). The enthusiastic acclaim from the sell-out audience really said it all - a great and very distinctive show from one of pop’s finest exponents.



Beautiful mechanical (yMusic)
So There
Capable Of Anything
Not A Fan
Phone In A Pool
Mess (BF5)
Intermission with yMusic
I’m Not A Man
Boxing (BF5)
Erase me (BF5)
Song For The Dumped (BF5)
Steven’s Last Night In Town

Kate (BF5)
Still Fighting It
You Don’t Know Me
Army (BF5)

Page: 1 2


Shakenstir Photo Supplement
Manchester 2010 - Gallery: Europe

Out & About - Gallery: Lockdown Enviro
Lockdown Enviro Signals - Gallery: Lockdown 3
Lockdown 3
Shakenstir - Homepage Links Reviews Live Interviews Features News Contact Gallery Shakenstir - Homepage