Academy, Manchester - 27.11.2008
I never got to see Far the first time round.
I’ve seen Jonah play solo a fair few times now, including a few songs with most of Far backing him, so it was with some trepidation I approached this show. What if it didn’t live up to the standards set by his solo shows, or indeed by the classic albums?
I needn’t have worried. All fears of an old, washed out band were allayed with the very first song - they launched into every track with a vigour oft lacking in much younger bands, even more impressive given the substantial girth of the set. I’m not usually a fan of bands playing long sets, but I’ll make an exception here, mainly because they were awesome all the way through and played all the songs I wanted to hear - Water and Solutions and Mother Mary were particular highlights, but it really was spine tingling all the way through. There wasn’t a hint of money oriented reunion tour here - every song was played with the conviction it needed.
Mercifully banter was kept to a minimum - whilst Jonah’s chat works well in a more intimate acoustic solo setting, tonight the crowd wanted rock, and Far delivered in spades. Most of the audience was singing every word back at the band and the atmosphere was fantastic. Jonah at first looked somewhat uncomfortable without a guitar, and compensated by acting out his lyrics in a rather pantomime fashion, which did begin to grate somewhat after a while, but this was really only a minor blot on an otherwise spotless copybook.
Overall the show was everything I’d hoped for from a Far reunion and then some.