Final Fantasy to play in Glasgow
‘I play a lot of instruments,’ Owen Pallett attempts to convince us, ‘but none of them very well.’ Come off it. You don’t get to become the orchestra and string arranger for Arcade Fire’s Funeral and Neon Bible albums – at the same time helping to create a new and vibrant sub-genre of mini-orchestras – unless you’re really rather good. Yet he seems fairly louche about the whole deal. ‘Arcade Fire had shows supporting Jim Guthrie, for whom I was playing,’ says Pallett, who lives in what he calls ‘an illegal tenement’ in Toronto. ‘Jim’s record Now More Than Ever was my first attempt at pop string arrangement, and the band liked it and asked me to work with Richard (Reed Parry) and Sarah (Neufeld) on getting their arrangements together.’
Then, two hugely influential records later, he was gone. ‘I left because Final Fantasy was taking up too much of my time, and I wanted to pursue other arrangement projects.’ A solo endeavour, with Pallett playing violin, keyboards and singing during live shows, Final Fantasy received a large boost in credibility when it won the Polaris prize (Canada’s equivalent of the Mercury) in 2006 for Pallett’s second album under the video-game influenced name, He Poos Clouds.
Subsequently working with The Last Shadow Puppets (Alex Turner and Miles Kane are ‘true gentlemen’) and recording Final Fantasy’s third album, Pallett has also managed to keep the name so far. The makers of the video game haven’t been in touch, but every year ‘I get free tickets to those symphonic Nobuo Uematsu (who scores the Final Fantasy games) concerts, so I think the publishers probably have a positive view on my endeavour.’
Classic Grand, Glasgow, Wed 5 Aug