Words by Helen Knott
Ben Folds Five brightened up the mid 90’s with their goofy, piano-led pop – initially forming in 1993, initially disbanding in 2000, and releasing seven albums across their entire career. The naughties weren’t the end for Ben Folds Five, with the ebb and flow of reunions bringing the North Carolina trio (the name has more to do with alliteration than an actual number count) onto record store shelves and festival bills until 2013.
But in the midst of all this, in 2000 after the first break up, band leader Ben Folds struck out on his own – carving a pretty successful solo career, releasing six solo albums and collaborating with artists as diverse as Weird Al Yankovic, William Shatner, Regina Spektor Amanda Palmer and author Nick Hornby.
It’s fair to say that Folds has had a varied career; he’s scraped the very depths of celeb culture as a judge on US talent show The Sing Off, and soared to the heights of classical music composition, writing a piano concerto for Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
And its classical music that’s the focus in this Symphony Hall show, as Ben Folds is joined by New York based yMusic chamber ensemble, to perform tracks from his 2015 album So There. As well as his piano concerto the album includes eight new songs written with yMusic.
But be warned, Ben Fold’s Live on Myspace concert hosted everything from an orchestra of classical guitars to a pretend suicide attempt practical joke. So expect lyrics about aging, failed relationships (having been married four times) and above all, that irreverent sense of humour that endeared him to us in the first place.
Ben Folds & yMusic – Meet the Band
For more on Ben Folds, visit www.benfolds.com
For more on the yMusic ensemble, visit www.ymusicensemble.com
For more from Birmingham’s Town & Symphony Halls, visit www.thsh.co.uk