THE stage can be a lonely place.

So, when it is just you and one instrument, your performance is going to be under even more scrutiny than normal.

But for Ben Folds his passion means it could be just him and one person or a packed-out theatre, he will put on a performance for anyone.

His passion for music is one which shines through and when talking about his upcoming performance in Basingstoke, his love for what he does is clear.

“I don’t ever do things without thinking about what the circumstances around them are,” the pianist tells the Gazette.

“Things change all the time, so people might change plans and pay money to come see me and I try and remember that every night I step out on stage so it’s not just repetition.

“That is why I want to do these piano shows because they are bit more intimate and keep things real as they say.”

Though the show on Tuesday, 22 May is just Folds and a grand piano on the Anvil stage, don’t expect him to start reciting any Beethoven or Chopin.

The North Carolina native prefers to take a more tongue-in-cheek approach to his music, something which hasn’t always worked in his favour, until he first came to the UK.

He added: “In the States we don’t really have a history of classical music as such.

“Pop music is like our classical music, it’s almost like coke-a-cola is some vintage s**t. So, when you write a song that has humour in it then you are instantly seen as a novelty artist.

“You are expected to write sad songs in a certain key, but to me it is not like that. Humour adds a bittersweet angle to a song. Anytime you can go to your head and heart, things get powerful.

“Like if you want to be sad all the time go to a funeral or something. For more people, using humour diverts away from the tough subjects. But that’s it, as soon as you introduce humour into your music in the States, you are seen as the novelty act.

“But when I came to the UK for the first time the audience just got it and it was like ‘phew OK here we go’.”

With such a varied and vast body of work audience members shouldn’t be surprised to hear versions of the songwriter’s old band, Ben Folds Five, followed by stripped back renditions of his more classical-leaning repertoire.

Ben Folds will appear at the Anvil on Tuesday, 22 May. For information and tickets visit