No need for encores
The thing that strikes this reviewer about the Fiery Furnaces, with a good few years of seeing them in the live arena, they are far better suited to the support role than a headline set. The way that their songs swoop, stutter and start again is better suited to the rollicking thirty minutes or less time constraint and desire to win people over than the time their own set allows. There is a confidence in the act and the way that Eleanor addresses the crowd but it can be hard to follow the thread of a lot of their songs.
This has been one of the things that has probably prevented the act from breaking through to a much larger audience, because make no mistake, when their songs are good, they are infectiously catchy. ‘Tropical Ice-land’ and ‘Single Again’ remain two of the best singles of the past year and the new material from the ‘I’m Going Away’ is a return to that style. It would be harsh to say it was a return to form as the quality of the music has never really dipped but fashions change and some of the concepts of recent albums were a bit out there. In a lurching set, the crowd were treated to old and new, fast and slow, sometimes in the same song!
One of the best things to like about the band is that they try to eschew the virtue of the fake encore, preferring to batter on and keep the energy and tempo at a high level. There can be no doubting the musical talent on show, to run through so many time changes without ever dropping the baton indicates talent and a solidity to the show and if you are looking for professionalism, its hard to hold out for much more than what the Fiery Furnaces offer.
There haven’t been too many brother and sister acts that have scaled the heights, The Carpenters immediately standing out but hopes are high that The Fiery Furnaces will be remembered in a good light. As it stands, their unique live performances require to be seen at least once and repeat viewings definitely come recommended.