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There's a particularly hateful chain of London estate agents - you'll know them because, if the Credit Crunch has given us one positive thing, it's the opportunity to stare through the shiny windows of their (s)wanky offices and dementedly chuckle at the absolute lack of anything worthwhile happening inside - who did a survey.
Their survey said that Shepherd's Bush is the number one choice for the capital's sweetest couples to settle down and have a normal life in.
And that's why Ben Folds always plays gigs at Shepherd's Bush Empire. Because his songs, especially on new album Way To Normal, muse on what's normal about a "normal" relationship.
Spending an hour and 45 minutes at one of Ben's Bush gigs is rather like attending a Relate seminar. Yes, scratch away at the veneer of any couple's apparent normality and you can see the cracks start to appear.
Folds' work obsessively investigates this area of interaction between men and woman in and out of love - none more so than new offering 'You Don't Know Me'. This cute one-two, which features a girl singer, lists his failings before finishing with the reasonable question: "Why the fuck would you want me back? Maybe it's because you don't know me at all." It's pop but it's not twee, it's a fair point.
'Bitch Went Nuts', 'Brainwascht' and 'Cologne' are other new album tracks that explore the same territory with a flourish. The latter is a brilliant lump in the throat break-up song in the best Ben Folds Five tradition.
But, crucially, all this emotion is combined with humour. This is what makes the modern man. Women fetishise this male combination of sensitivity and sense of humour - and Ben hits the mark every time.
So as not to drift into self-indulgent realms, he's always tempered his serious stuff with laughs. His latest prank is to record fake versions of the songs from the new album. So he gives us genuinely funny new versions of 'Dr Yang' and 'The Frown Song', the latter is a set closer where Folds sings without trademark piano, but joined by a guy sporting a giant yellow smiley face mask.
He also does his fake version of 'Bitch Went Nuts', telling his flock: "This version is about a Republican who takes his liberal girlfriend to a party and gives her a drug called cocaine." The lyrics joke about the suitably cage-rattling results.
After hitting us with almost all the 11 new songs, the serial ivory tinkler gets a rapturous reception for some old classics - especially the heartbreakers. These songs still sound fresh and important. 'Fair' and 'Still Fighting It' are bravura belters about the ache that love gives you right in the centre of your belly.
Landed is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, and the ever-amazing 'Not The Same' feels like it really means something to both Folds and the audience. When the sell-out crowd - conducted by a piano-jumping Ben - joins in the harmonies, you can feel the back of your neck tingle.
Derided by most of the music press, often misunderstood by British punters, and almost entirely ignored in the end of year best album polls, Ben Folds is a very good argument for simply not listening to cloth-eared journos, record company dogsbodies and your idiot mate in the pub who tells you this is music for "girls" and "yanks".
Ben Folds can vocalise the way men and woman make each other happy and sad better than anyone else. The hardcore at this gig realise it. And they all know exactly what CD they'll be reaching for when their normal lives crash and burn.
- Ben Folds - The Best Imitation of Myself - A Retrospective
- NewsRound: The first quarter of 2010 in NEWS
- Watch: Ben Folds does ChatRoulette piano improv, live!
- Ben Folds at Hammersmith Shepherds Bush Empire, Sun 30 Nov
- Ben Folds - Way To Normal
- Ben Folds - Way To Normal
- Ben Folds Five reunite for MySpace
- Ben Folds announces new album