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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fanfarlo fills Barcelona with light & great music

Fanfarlo. Sala Apolo, October 14th, Barcelona

Simon and Amos in Barcelona.
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
I was dying to see Fanfarlo live, probably since I heard "Reservoir", their debut album, for the first time. And despite "Rooms Filled With Light", also a good record, still has to grow to have the impact their first one had on me, attending the gig was mandatory.

"Lenslife", "Tightrope" and "Feathers" opened the gig in Barcelona at a happily (didn't expect that, being a Sunday night) full Sala Apolo. It was a wonderful way to start. Three good songs that blossomed live, into a more vibrant, dreamy tunes, instantly catchy yet elaborated. More passion and less brain.

Cathy Lucas, violins & keys.
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
Quickly arrived the first highlight with "I'm A Pilot" a soaring indiepop gem. First goosebumps of the night while trying to reach the glorious chorus along with (the always-in-movement) singer Simon Balthazar. If the concert had ended there, it would have been worth it already.

Luckily there was a lot more to come. "Grey & Gold" followed, being one of the several new tunes presented in Barcelona, announcing the arrival of a new album in 2013 (terrific!!), which sounded promising. Then came "Bones" and "Tunguska". Trumpets, saxophone, violins, guitars, keyboards, rhythm, double and triple vocals. Overall, quite a lot to look and listen at, and a lot of joy (without hiding melancholy) is what their songs offer. "The Walls Are Coming Down", a explosion of indiepop perfection. If you have blood in your veins, you'll end singing its chorus.
Simon tuning his guitar.
Photo: Bloodbuzzed

On the equator of the gig, we heard another new (and excellent) number, "Cell Song",  followed by another unmissable track from "Reservoir", "Comets". Sorry if I begin to repeat myself, but that album is a modern classic, so full of splendid tunes, as the superb "Finish Line", coming after "Deconstruction", with its epic crescendo, proved again.

The last section of the concert opened with "Dig" followed by the great "Luna" and a super-upbeat "Landlocked", another new one that has "single potential" written all over. The happy band seemed to put an end to the gig with the lovely "Shiny Things".

Trumpet solo in BCN.
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
But very soon they returned with a short of encore with "The Sea", announced as a genuine première for Barcelona but maybe the less inspired of the new songs presented (or maybe it was just misplaced on the setlist, being that close to end of the gig), followed by the unbeatable "Harold T. Wilkins". Oh! How many years waiting to hear (and sing, and dance to) that song live! As expected (dreamed) it sounded lush, fierce, pure melody and vitality. The perfect closure for a great gig.
Setlist of the gig.
Photo: Bloodbuzzed

Fanfarlo played with enthusiasm and energy. Don't believe Simon drank enough whisky to consider that was the reason. Don't believe it had something to do with the incense either. They just seem to be that passionate with their music. So that's what their music transmits to the listener. Using the title of their last record, they brought light, they filled Apolo with their light on Sunday.

Finally saw them live. I guarantee you, it won't be the last time.

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