Farro – Leeds Key Club – 18/11/16
After leaving Paramore back in 2010, Josh Farro has been off the radar for quite some time. But in 2013 he started writing new music as part of his solo project Farro, and earlier this year he finally released his debut album ‘Walkways’.
Tonight is only his second night of the UK tour, and it might not be quite the same as when he was last here playing to thousands of fans, but for Josh Farro this is a clean slate, a new adventure, and this is the start of something very new.
Tonight’s venue slowly starts to fill up as support act Natives (7) take the stage to treat us to some tribal pop music, which goes down a treat. Tonight’s crowd is only a small one, and they are a tough crowd to get involved, but the frontman Jim Thomas does what he can to get the crowd warmed up and clapping along to the tribal drum beats throughout the set. It’s a fresh of breath air from the New Forest band delivering something a little different, and we’re sure to hear much more from them in the coming months/years!
As the nights headliner takes the stage the venue has filled up a little more, even though it is noticeably only half full, however it only makes tonight’s show that bit more special as it feels much more intimate and exclusive.
As Josh joins his band on stage he is greeted by overwhelming cheers from the crowd and it’s clear from the smile on his face he’s more than happy to be back on the stage! Farro (8) kick off tonight’s show with ‘On A Wire’ and it’s the perfect set opener, with its driven and catchy chorus it has everyone singing along. The upbeat and cheerful ‘Color Rush’ follows with a fantastic performance of one of the best tracks on the debut album ‘Walkways’.
‘Tiger Eyes’ closely follows and is much more reserved than anything in the set so far, it has the crowd in complete silence as they watch on, not because they’re not enjoying it, but because everyone’s eyes and ears are heavily focused on the stage. This continues for the next track ‘Killing It’, which Josh introduces as a new track not featured on the album. Again, the crowed are completely fixed on the frontman as they clap along and try to pick up the lyrics to the new song. It’s one of the best tracks of the set and it vows well for future releases if Farro has more music to this standard hidden away for a follow up album.
The set is stripped back to the front man and his clean electric guitar as he’s joined by “The Twins” who have been fantastic backing up the front man on keys and bass respectively, as they sing along as a trio to ‘Home’. It’s a very quiet and beautiful track and has the Key Club the quietest we’ve ever heard it.
It’s worth pointing out that Josh’s vocals have been great tonight, for a renowned guitarist he has a lot more to him than previously seen. ‘Lose You’ picks up the pace and displays his vocals at their best as he leaves his guitar behind to serenade us whilst on strict vocal duties backed by his band.
It’s clear that not everyone here is overly familiar with Farro’s new album ‘Walkways’, as many of the crowd tonight have been rather quiet. So dropping in some covers was a great move from the band, and their cover of Coldplay’s ‘Charlie Brown’ uplifted the Key Club and catching us all off guard, and in return was greeted with a strong reception from the on looking fans as they sing along at the tops of
Even though the venue may be tiny and the lighting here may not be the most exciting you’ve ever seen, the band manage to pull some production out of the bag. A projector displaying some stunning visuals, particularly in the second half of the set, fills the stage and covers the band with bright colours, visuals and images to keep everything visually entertaining as they do musically. It’s fair to say the guys have put some thought behind the shows on this tour and it was certainly worth the effort.
As the set comes to an end, leading single ‘Cliffs’ has everyone clapping along once again to the beat of the verse and lifting chorus for one of the highlights of the set, before the fantastic album title track ‘Walkways’ puts an end to the night with it’s cheery tune.
It’s clear that Farro has a lot of work on his hands to get back to the big stages in the UK, but he’s thriving the challenge and will undoubtedly start filling and selling out these venues in the future. This is the start of the next chapter, the new beginning, and it’s exciting to see such a talented musician bring more clean and refreshing music to our ears as he returns to the scene.
Check out more live photos of Farro from this show here!
Photography – © Danny Peart Photography