Josh Farro may be widely recognised as one of the original members of Paramore, but the new offerings from his latest project Farro are leagues away from his pop-punk past. Latest album Walkways is more akin to the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Death Cab For Cutie than his past guise, and tonight he is showcasing that at Mama Roux’s in Birmingham with his new band.
Greywind opened the evening with a darkly beautiful acoustic set which sent shivers down my spine. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the band; they are sister and brother Steph and Paul O’Sullivan from Ireland, who have been hotly tipped for a bright future. With their performance tonight, I can certainly see why they have already been predicted to do well when their debut album is released in January; they have some truly stunning songs including Circle, Afterthoughts and Safe Haven. Paul is a talented guitarist and Steph has some of the most beautifully haunting yet powerful vocals, which all in all makes for a magical performance.
New Forest quartet Natives offered a sun kissed second performance of the evening, as they reminded me of the summer time with their Tribal influenced indie-pop. Tonight their set largely consisted of newer material, which seemed like quite a development in style from the songs that they were playing the last time that I saw them, at 2000 Trees in 2014. Catchy choruses, grooves and added drums, percussion and synths seem to have given the band the perfect feel-good factor to their music; which is definitely apparent in tracks such as Stop The Rain and my personal favourite, Chasing Lions. I expect to see them on festival stages nationwide in Summer 2017.
Headliners Farro took to the stage lit only by ambient patterns and videos from a projector which was was wonderfully atmospheric, but the darkness did make it rather difficult for any photographers who were shooting the show. Showcasing their new brand of Americana infused indie, we were treated to a set largely taken from new album Walkways; including tracks such as On A Wire, Color Rush, Dear Love and Cliffs. There were also a couple of particularly strong cover versions of Fleet Foxes’ White Winter Hymnal and Coldplay’s Charlie Brown.
Most of the songs were joyous and uplifting, but my favourite moments were actually when the band took it down a notch or two for some delicate moments. During Home, Josh was accompanied on stage by two of his band mates to perform it acoustically, and there was a beautiful calm and quietness that descended over the audience while that happened, which made it seem even more intimate. Another highlight came during the emotional performance of Lose You; which seemed extremely honest and heartfelt.
Although Farro is still very much in their early stages, with only one album release under their belt; they are already stronger than many other artists that have been together for much longer, and I can already see the potential that this band could become an enormous success. Well crafted songs, strong musicianship (in particular from front man Josh and their outstanding drummer Tyler Lydell) and a tight performance all worked hand in hand to offer one of the best shows that I’ve seen in ages; so I expect to see a lot more about Farro in 2017.