Band on the Wall
Ezra Furman & the Boyfriends played a cracking set to a suitably busy Band on the Wall on Monday night. The eccentric frontman was well dressed for the Northern Quarter venue, sporting tights, a sleeveless red dress and a pretty atrocious flat peak.
The band gelled harmoniously with great big band-style input from sax player Tim Sandusky. Combined with the multi-instrumental talents of keyboard/guitarist Ben Joseph it gave an excitement to the unique sound of Furman’s autobiographical emotionally charged lyrics.
Between tracks Ezra whispers into the microphone, delivering a small anecdote or story to introduce the next song—though with each cryptic explanation the crowd seems yet more curious about the singer’s troubled history.
During the tracks ‘We Should Fight‘ and ‘I Killed Myself But I Didn’t Die’ Furman staggers about the small stage, building into a frenzy of screaming lyrics echoing around the room. It’s clear that these are lyrics of a man who has experienced heartbreak, loss and a sadness.
Though tight on stage, there seems to be some tensions in the band. The sax player shakes his head mockingly during Furman’s pre-song introductions and midway through he seems to disagree with the wild-eyed lead man on the order of the set list. Regardless of this, the band is flawless and perfectly in touch with each other, with any animosity being replaced by catchy guitar hooks and punctuating sax scales.
For the encore the band return for an interesting cover of ‘Like a Virgin’, which comes off nicely with Furman’s punchy guitar playing.