The first 16 years of my life I spent a lot of time around lakes. You seeI get quite passionate about things for a time, like reservoirs.
The passion, the obsession, the dissolution of intellectual rigour; heart and longing colliding with mind and matter, the recurrent theme of Fanfarlo. As aging instruments are brought back to life with a creaking aching beauty, a bizarre collection of characters join our midst. Each an accidental Fanfarlo metaphor - the irrational pursuit of an otherwise intellectual mind.
Howard Hughes' decent into madness "I'm A Pilot"; the delusion of Pellegrino Ernetti "The Walls Are Coming Down" and the absurd writing career of "Harold T. Wilkins", all sweep from sweet murmuring melodia to orchestral pop.
Again and again the band find ways to mirror the impotent fury of the words. Cathy Lucas (violin, keyboard, vox), Justin Finch (bass) and Amos Memon (drums) and Leon Beckenham (trumpet, keyboard) all conspire to ensure that Fanfarlo eschew a defining format. Reaching for less than obvious conclusions to musical conundrums: saws, clarinets, cellos, mandolins, ukuleles, melodicas, hands clapping and feet stomping.
There is no doubt that all of Fanfarlo are clever, bookish coves, but when they come together to make music, they function on a gut level. For a band that comes from all over frontman Simon Balthazar is himself from Gothenburg - there is that restless, furtive artistry. A keenness to avoid the constraints of home, battling with the longing of the heart, the distant locations of a burning house "Fire Escape"; a drowning village "Ghosts"; and the uneasy sensations of urban sprawl, "Luna."
Trapped and spiralling guitars, an insistently hammered piano chord, or an ominous stomp, the fervour with which they play is stirring and infectious Fanfarlo Baudelaire's fictional dancer, impossibly desirable, an inescapable object of obsession.