05/18/12 Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities
05/25/12 Pittsburgh, PA - Heinz Hall
06/02/12 Hunter, NY - Mountain Jam Fest
06/08/12 Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre
06/10/12 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival
Ben Folds Five
Kate and Lara LOLing through it all. The three Bens: Ben Folds, Ben & Jason, and Ben & Jerry
In January this year rumblings were heard that they were going to be reforming. People didn’t take too much notice as it came off the back of a retrospective three disc album called “The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective” and, as is par for the course rumours like these always start and are swiftly quashed. However, this one refused to go away and fans and newcomers to the music loved the “old” new album as it featured all the band’s favourites and one new track called “House” which was what gave fans hope. You can hear that here:
Ben Folds Five - House
Finally in January 2012 it was formally announced that indeed they were reforming and now it sounds like they’ve never been away. Hearing “House” is like (in the best possible sense) putting on a favourite pair of comfortable shoes. You feel safe and assured. In musical terms you know what you’re getting. Super classy piano and charged, breathtaking vocals that sound and feel homely - just as though the songs are being sung for you and you alone.
Another New Song
“House” wasn’t the only new song. Just last week another new track was previewed, entitled “Do It Anyway” via SoundCloud and you can take a sneaky free listen here:
The song is, at the moment only a rough demo and therefore unmastered but you can get a real feel for how the new material is going to shape up. The start is surprising, it almost has a classical feel to it, before exploding into a fast paced, ebullient melding of brilliant pop and blues. Sometimes the song feels as though it’s spinning out of control it goes so fast, it just about manages to pull itself back from being lost completely, however it does not take the shine of its sheer brilliance. It’s just a joy to listen to and proves that even though they left the building all those years ago time hasn’t taken the shine off their song writing abilities, musical talent and completely raw energy. If this one track (and “House”) is anything to go by then the new album should be a real rollercoaster ride of musical emotion and spirit:
“If you’re paralysed by the voice in your head, it’s the standing still that should be scaring you instead”
Sings the man himself, and there’s probably never a truer word uttered. It is literally impossible to stand or sit still while you listen to the Ben Folds Five so infectious are their sounds and anthemic songs. Hearing them now is a reminder of just how good they were and what a loss to the music world it was when they disbanded.
When is the Album Out? Are They Touring?
Fans are, at the moment being urged to follow that band’s twitter feed for the latest updates. A late spring/early summer release was mooted, though as with all these things the information and dates are subject to change. The basic gist is keep your eyes and ears peeled for news. Once dates are confirmed, it will be available for pre-order from Amazon, iTunes and all the other usual outlets and ready for delivery via courier straight to your door.
They’ve got some initial tour dates coming up through the rest of May and into June, starting on 18th May in Ohio and carrying on with gigs in Pittsburgh, Hunter, Atlanta and Manchester at the Bonaroo Festival on 10th June.
One final and rather endearing thing to note is this: pledge music project. You can download some of the new Ben Folds album here, you set how much you want to pay for it and then you get the music, exclusive updates, videos and blogs delivered to you. All the band asks in return is that via social network mediums like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace et al, you mention that you’ve pledged, share the link and help promote the band’s work. It’s a really nice way to share and well worth looking into if you simply can’t wait until the new album comes out in its entirety. Welcome back Ben Folds Five, you’ve been sorely missed…