Ben Howard


One of the revelations of the past year, Ben Howard is “overwhelmed” his debut album Every Kingdom has been shortlisted for the upcoming Mercury Awards. The 25-year-old from Totnes, Devon, largely earned his musical spurs on the road, following a path trodden by the likes of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell whose influences shimmer out of his songwriting. Like the folksters of the 60s and 70s, Howard’s songs often go to the heart of things, their fragile sound belying sturdy, increasingly dark-tinged lyrics. A child of musical parents, Howard grew up immersed in British and American folk. Nick Drake is often cited, along with Joan Baez, yet for all the classic influences, Howard’s own voice and evident song-writing strength inevitably pushes its way to the fore.
He has begun to take America by storm, his San Francisco gig described by one reviewer as “a great folk sing-along with 400 of your closest friends”. The self-evident joy Howard and his tight band of collaborators have on stage regularly proves infectious.
Speaking of which, Howard kicks off his new UK tour at Brighton on November 2 and will travel up and down the UK and Ireland including Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Birmingham and Bournemouth but if you haven’t already bought a ticket be warned: all the gigs are said to be sold out!

 

Pierfrancesco Pacoda

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