Governor Hindmarsh, Sat Feb 7
Ben Ford Davies, looking relaxed and happy, greets the audience and kicks off with Victim Of Society, a song from 2007’s A New Beginning live album. This is a cracking opener, with Ford-Davies settling straight into a driving rhythm that immediately grabs the attention of all those present. Ford-Davies’ already impressive vocal talents rise to even greater heights in All That You Need. Between songs he chats comfortably with the audience, making new friends. Switching to piano for Stretched On Your Grave, Ford-Davies displays a softer side, and this continues on The Right Time; a beautiful song indeed. In the City comes next, providing a return to the rhythmic pulse of the opening number. The affable Ford-Davies introduces a brand-new number, The Cane Song, and announces that it foreshadows a change in his musical direction. It’s not a million miles away from where he is now, and it sits quite well within the set, but it does have a harder, bluesier edge. Super-stacker provides the opportunity to have some fun. The catchy This Road Together closes the set, and Ford-Davies leaves the stage to warm applause. This near-faultless performance has come from the heart; it has seemed so natural and emotionally genuine. Ford-Davies has demonstrated to everyone in attendance that he has what it takes.
Ronnie Taheny opens up with Letter To The Muses and the ever-haunting Trade. Switching between piano and guitar, Taheny performs great versions of This Lifetime, Over and the touching Photograph. A Darcy Before I Die comes early tonight, appearing in this first section.
Jarrad Payne joins Taheny on stage and the performance takes its first step toward its transformation into a full-blown rock show. The abundantly talented Payne sits behind his kit and accompanies Taheny on the full-sounding, memorable Glacial. Next to appear is Taheny’s long-time friend, Felicity Freeman, and the trio moves through the thoughtful Good Times and Wasting Away, before the line up is completed with the arrival of Mark Ferguson on keyboards for That’s Jesus. From here, the set becomes a powerful showcase of Taheny anthems; every song different, every song a winner. From the gospel-stylings of Ready, through the rocking Toyland and beyond, this is becoming a big night out indeed. Babel, in particular, demonstrates that Taheny’s lyrical talents and rocker credentials remain something to be admired. The set concludes with a mad gypsy polka; the curiously named This Bar Fits My Style. The audience catches its collective breath.
Taheny begins her encore with Versailles. Ford-Davies makes a welcome return to the stage and performs the sublime Just A Man. The whole band, plus special guest Tori Taheny, finishes the show with The Thinker, which features some delightful a Capella singing from all concerned.
Every aspect of this musical performance has been top-notch. There has been much to like throughout this entire evening of sumptuous sensory overload. Don’t miss the next one.