Tag Archives: Robert Francis

Win tickets to see Robert Francis perform at The Basement on Monday, June 18

Though he’s just in his mid-20s, Robert Francis sings like somebody who has lived a full life and has experienced hardships along the way. When he was in town a few years ago opening for Fanfarlo, I mentioned that he brought to mind Bad Blake (Jeff Bridge’s character from Crazy Heart) had Blake been a rock club singer rather than a broken-hearted country crooner. On Strangers in the First Place, released in May by Vanguard Records, Francis hasn’t strayed from the style of music found on his previous releases, 2007’s One by One and 2009’s Before Nightfall.

Francis will be performing at The Basement on Monday night and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky winner. You don’t need to do anything fancy, just send an email to contestdonewaiting@gmail.com. We’ll pick a winner on Sunday afternoon and notify you – if you win – via email. Good luck!

Interview with James Milne of Lawrence Arabia

Lawrence Arabia just wrapped up an extremely successful run through the U.S. with Fanfarlo and Robert Francis. The band, London-by-way-of-New-Zealand, is lead by George Harrison-loving frontman James Milne and live they comes across much louder than they do on their U.S. debut, Chant Darling, (featuring the fantastic pop ditty “Apple Pie Bed”). Milne says that after a run overseas, Lawrence Arabia will be back on these shores, so do your studying now.

I grabbed James for a quick interview before Lawrence Arabia’s set in Columbus on April 1 (no fooling here!).

Meet Fanfarlo’s openers: Robert Francis, Lawrence Arabia

When these three band bills come through town, there usually is a common thread between the bands. I’m scratching my head trying to figure THIS one out. I’m pretty well schooled in Robert Francis and Lawrence Arabia’s stuff (and I’m taking a crash course in Fanfarlo this week) and I can’t find any similarities in sound or backgrounds between these three. Maybe the common denominator is that I like all 3 bands and some booking agent knew that.

Robert Francis is a 22-year-old “kid” who sounds like what I imagine Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges’s character from Crazy Heart) would sound like if he was a rock club singer rather than a country singer. Francis has that “old soul” sound – not “soul” as in “soul music” but “soul” as in the dude sounds like he’s lived through a LOT of hard times and has been spinning his tales for 40 years to anyone that will listen. He’s the singer that I’ve always hoped Pete Yorn would be. And, he gets a stamp of approval from Carson Daly. Continue reading

Interview: Fanfarlo

(Photos of interview by Alysse Gafkjen)

In anticipation of their Columbus show this week at Outland, I caught up with Simon Balthazar, Amos Memon and Leon Beckenham of Fanfarlo while in Austin for SXSW. I must say it’s a bit intimidating walking into an interview being the face of Columbus to a group of musicians who are not only talented and finding success right now, but foreign to our Midwestern scene… quite literally. (Full disclosure: This is due to the fact that I both write for donewaiting and work for Benco.)

Donewaiting: How was Fanfarlo born and how has it developed into it’s current state?

Simon: Ok, so, the short story is.. Fanfarlo used to be a recording project and it kinda came about just before I moved to London [from Sweden]. We pretty much started releasing 7″ on friends labels [in London] straight away before there was really a band. From that recording project, I started meeting people and now it’s become this dysfunctional family of a band we are today.

DW: How long have you been playing together?

Amos: It’ll be the 4th year, later this year together. Originally we were 6, but now we’re 5 people.

S: For the last year, we’ve been playing with guest guitarists.

Leon: We’ve gone through about 6, haven’t we, in the last couple of years?

A: We’ve chewed them up, spit them out.

DW: London seems like a good place to make music, all things considered…

S: It is and it isn’t. It’s a really active scene, there’s all sorts of stuff going on. There’s a very quick turn around, things get old really quickly. And that’s a downside, I think. It’s good in the sense that there’s always something fresh to be excited about. But me personally, I’ve tried to stay a little bit out of the blog bands, you know buzz bands.

DW: In regards to your album Reservoir, how long did it take from start to finish to get out to the general public?

A: I think it was like 7 months.

S: We spent the first two months deliberating over the sequencing, the name and cover art. It’s funny, I mean we did put it out ourselves but I think if we would have had a label kinda whipping us into shape we would have gone through that quicker. I don’t know how interesting it is, you know, the way you sell a record. But for us it was interesting, it was really fun and encouraging to see how many people would get your record directly from you. Continue reading

Fanfarlo announces Columbus date + SXSW

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MP3: Harold T. Wilkins or How to Wait for a Very Long Time

My own involvement with BenCo aside, I’m thrilled to announce that Fanfarlo will be coming to town to play The Summit on April 1st with Lawrence Arabia and Robert Francis supporting. (My previous thoughts on Fanfarlo here.)

From the press release:

Acclaimed U.K. five-piece Fanfarlo have announced more North American headlining dates for March and April with Lawrence Arabia and Robert Francis as support. The band whom are just finishing up a string of European headline shows will be back in America next week to make their national television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman Monday, February 15th.

Tickets go on sale Saturday. All tour dates, including SXSW appearances, after the jump. Continue reading

Robert Francis Opening for Noah and the Whale

There’s a lot of talk about Noah and the Whale’s upcoming three day stay at the Mercury Lounge, but let it not go unnoticed that Robert Francis will be opening each night. Francis just released his second album, Before Nightfall.

Complete tour dates after the jump. Continue reading