Record Overplayed
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Ben and Jason | York Fibbers | 09/12/03

Best Performance of Their Whole Career (or so it seemed)

Gig Review by Dawn

So farewell, then, Ben and Jason.

Throughout their five year career Messrs Parker and Hazeley have, much to the bewilderment of their loyal fans, remained one of the best kept secrets in contemporary music. A memorable performance at the wonderfully intimate Fibbers venue as part of their final tour left the enthusiastic crowd spellbound and brought home just how much the duo will be missed now they've gone their separate ways.

Purely intertwining their intriguing and intelligent (yet never pretentious) lyrics and heart-achingly beautiful melodies and arrangements would, in itself, have made for a stunning show, but interspersed with Ben and Jason's charming between-song banter, it became an evening's entertainment to treasure. Such endearing humour was present throughout the set from both the duo and the crowd, and yet the fun respectfully subsided as each song began and the audience became transfixed by the magical show on the stage before them.

Emoticons set the precedent for the evening, Ben's fingers becoming but a blur on his guitar and his voice sounding more beautiful than ever, reinforcing his abiity to break hearts by singing a single note. Following a suitably witty plug for final album Goodbye, the pair launched into its second track A Star In Nobody's Picture, the audience reaction proving that the duo's songwriting skills have waned none over the five years.

 

In an evening brimming with impassioned performances and audience singalongs, it was difficult to single out a particular highlight, but glorious renditions of Air Guitar and The Wild Things saw Ben and Jason smiling as the entire crowd sang every word and, similarly, - despite Jason's protests that he couldn't remember it - the quirky, impromptu rendition of old favourite Dear Sally had the whole crowd smiling, singing along and clapping their hands, grateful to the duo for acknowledging their shouted request.

Rarely does a single performance succeed in capturing the whole spectrum of emotions, but tonight's gig frequently contrasted between making the crowd laugh and cry, whilst constantly marvelling at the duo's seemingly effortless talents.

Thank you, Ben and Jason, and Goodbye.

Sincere thanks to both Ben and Jason for everything. Visit Setanta Records for more information on final album Goodbye, or www.myspace.com/BenParkerMusic for Ben's latest project.

 

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