Ben Folds adds flight risk to request show

BEN FOLDS PORTRAITBen Folds is asking his audience to take aim at him.

Halfway through his set, the musician will watch as a sea of paper aeroplanes float through the concert hall and land on his stage.

It’s risky, not least because of the potential paper cuts, but because each plane bears a song request which Folds is expected to play. In fact, the whole second half of his show, which kicks off in this week, will be dictated by whatever song he sees written on these airborne suggestions.

“It’s good and scary. I like to be scared,” Folds told AAP in Sydney.

Scary because Folds is often expected to remember songs he hasn’t even released.

“There are some of them that I wrote when I was 16 years old that come up. I guess they got out on the internet,” he said.

However, being put on the spot like that seems to be something he relishes when he’s alone on stage with his piano. His only concern when those teenage songs are requested is that he doesn’t bore the audience.

However, that hasn’t happened yet.

“By design it’s always a success because it makes every show absolutely unique,” he said.

“The prettiest part of that to me is the stage just littered with paper aeroplanes. There’s something really interesting about it. It looks like a set design that somebody would have thought up.”

Folds’ last album release was the semi-orchestral So There in 2015 but he’s not working on another record yet. His next project will be a book, a way to educate people about music through his own story.

“I’m writing a book that’s basically sort of in memoir form but it’s lessons. I’m working on that tightening it up and trying to make it a real book.”

* Ben Folds kicks off his n tour in Sydney on Thursday February 1 at the Sydney Opera House, then heads to Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Melbourne.

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