10 Pool Valley
Ezra Furman might have to start paying council tax if he spends any more time in BN1. This gig will be his third in Brighton in only a shade over three months, having played the Green Door Store in February and come back for a Great Escape gig earlier in May. In no way should familiarity be a barrier to attendance, as his first Brighton show of the year was that of a man destined for brighter lights and bigger stages. Furman and his band are reminiscent of a garage-band Springsteen with a traditional set up augmented by blaring but tasteful brass and embellished by the melodic and subtle tinkling of ivories.
Furman is far from an overnight success, a prolific writer his back catalogue with both previous band the Harpoons and this band The Boyfriends is extremely strong. Debuting with Beat, Beat, Beat in 2007 – recorded in the band’s dorm rooms at Tufts University, the Harpoons released four well-received albums before – like many college friends do on reaching graduation – splitting towards the end of 2012. The Chicago-born vocalist and guitarist was still overflowing with enthusiasm despite this setback and has already released two albums with his new outfit. The Year of No Returning felt like a training exercise for Day of the Dog, which was the most consistent work of his career to date. British interest in Furman was undoubtedly heightened significantly by a 5 out of 5 review in the Guardian and the patronage of BBC 6 Music, especially Mark Riley.
If this show sticks to the template of February’s then it would be wise to spend your last minute revision cramming on the uniformly excellent Day of The Dog, especially stand out songs ‘My Zero’ and ‘Walk on In Darkness.’ Furman is a fine performer and has that air of the underdog that you are really rooting for, his show becomes rather “us against the world.” Like a great first date, you find yourself so charmed by his strain of awkward, goofy cool; you’d probably end up going home with him. Not totally sure if you’d introduce him to your mum though, not on the first night anyway.
In support Brighton are based anthemic indie rockers Lion Bark and South London 3-piece recently added to the Bestival line-up Happyness.