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Georgia Fair @ The Toff, 12th Of July

There’s only so much I can say about a Georgia Fair live show that I haven’t already said, given that I think I’ve seen them play nearly ten times now. But the fact that I still really enjoyed Thursday night’s show at The Toff despite that fact shows just how good they are, and also just how much they’ve grown as a band over the last year.

Georgia Fair like to mix things up a bit with their live show, sometimes playing as just a duo and sometimes with a backing band behind them. This show featured two other musicians as well as Jordan and Ben, however they occasionally sat out a song, meaning that the gig featured a nice mix of Georgia Fair the duo and Georgia Fair the band. They opened with Times Fly, which is also the opening number of their debut album ‘All Through Winter’, and immediately it was obvious, for those that didn’t already know, that Georgia Fair were perfectly suited to The Toff and that it was going to be a very enjoyable night. It didn’t hurt that this rendition of the song included a snippet of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire

Gloria, a live fan favourite, made a welcome appearance, and as it turns out it was one of the few songs played that wasn’t taken from ‘All Through Winter’. One of the highlights of the night was Blind, the single that the band are currently touring. It’s a really glorious and slowly growing song, and you just get carried away by the flow of the song when you hear it live. Jordan and Ben have come a long way as performers as well: the banter may still be charmingly awkward, but they seem much more comfortable during songs and there was a lot more energy on the stage than I’m used to with Georgia Fair shows.

This was apparently one of the last gigs Georgia Fair are playing before going into hibernation to record their new album, and they gave us a bit of a taste of what’s to come with a couple of new songs. It would be fruitless to read into them too much, but they were both enjoyable and seemed in a similar vein to the material we’ve heard from the guys so far. Simple Man, one of my favourite Georgia Fair songs, was played with the whole band, meaning that it sounded more like the album version of the track than the EP version, but the song still had a tangible sense of intimacy and genuineness.

Georgia Fair even briefly played a bit of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, before launching into their own Float Away, which was most noticeable for the fact that it featured Jordan singing without a guitar in hand, which was a bit of a strange sight. The show closed with what I believe was another cover, although I didn’t recognise the song, with members of opening band Dirt Farmer joining Georgia Fair on stage for an emphatic conclusion to the night.

Despite the unmistakable climactic nature of the cover, the gig somehow felt unfinished even as Georgia Fair were departing the stage and the house lights were coming on to signal that there would be no encore. It hadn’t been a short main set by any means, but Georgia Fair hadn’t played their biggest song, Picture Frames, which left a few people in the crowd muttering to each other. Maybe the band are trying to distance themselves from the track, which also wasn’t included in their debut album, or maybe they just hate chocolate milk. No matter the reason it was a little disappointing but far from show-ruining. Truth be told I was more disappointed the band didn’t play deeper cut Something Easy, despite repeated requests from the crowd. Maybe that was a one-off thing at the The Empress.

It was a very enjoyable night with a band that just keeps on getting better. I really do look forward to seeing where Georgia Fair are a year or so from now, possibly with another album under their belt and with even more confidence and strength as a live act.

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