French For Rabbits – Tuning Fork May 14, 2022

French For Rabbits captivated an attentive audience on the last stop on their national tour to celebrate the release of their third studio album The Overflow. 

The evening starts off with a pleasant surprise as Jazmine Mary graces the stage instead and in style, as Fables’ Jess Bailey was unwell and unable to attend. Jazmine, who also Jazmine Maryworks with Fables as a producer, seems like a perfect fit for the concert. Supported only by a beautiful big Gretsch jazz guitar, which matches her fabulous polka-dot blue and white outfit, she holds the audience with delicate vocals and draws attention to her intricately crafted lyrics.

Not unlike French For Rabbits, Jazmine stays away from the clichés found in most music these days despite her “wish to be like pop music” and proves unafraid to restart a song if it doesn’t feel right, proving she is anything but a robotic autotuned pop jukebox but performs with true soul.

French For RabbitsBells ring in the start of the French For Rabbits set. John Fitzgerald sets the set’s tone with his reverb-soaked guitar while Brooke Singer holds the tempo and tone of the performance in check with keys and vocals. The band’s set is full of interesting production elements brought to the stage by Penelope Esplin who also holds down the bass and backing vocals. Additional backing vocals are supplied by Letitia Mackenzie and Ben Lemi, also on additional guitar, bringing the total vocal count to a whopping four-part harmony. Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa might be one of the most sensitive drummers I’ve run into yet, adding just the right amount of groove and structure to the band’s sensitive music. He brings all kinds of intriguing percussion to the sound which really shines towards the end of the set.

Brooke explains the last stop of the tour acts as a tame six-month birthday party as the tour has inevitably been delayed a few times. To celebrate, the band plays four songs off the album broken up by Brooke’s ice-breaking anecdotes. She gets a good laugh out of the audience by thanking them for coming out to see the band. “Thanks for coming out because you’re probably a crowd of introverts like us. And for all the extroverts, thanks for coming too.”

Ben, John, and Hikurangi leave the stage for the three women to sing two numbers by themselves. It’s in the Bag is performed by “just the girls because it’s a bit of a feminist number” followed by a song about leeches. The rest of the band enters the stage again to play “more songs about anxiety which seems to be a bit of a common theme in this album”.

French For Rabbits is a perfect example of a band that is unapologetically themselves, a group that doesn’t play into trends but makes and performs music they wholeheartedly stand for and it makes them incredibly strong and influential in their niche subgenre. They relate to the audience and are incredibly down to earth which is a treat to see in a band of their calibre. Dear reader, I highly recommend you follow these guys on social media, their website, their streaming platforms or even better, come to their shows and buy their physical merch and products. 

Koen Aldershof

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French For Rabbits

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