On his recent visit to Southampton, Dale Davies met up with Benjamin Francis Leftwich, before he took to the stage at The Talking Heads (read the review here).
BFL: No not really, I really like playing live, I like singing, I like going out every night and doing it, so I was kind of pleased it was announced. The tour kept getting bigger and bigger, so that was cool, I’m very grateful for being here playing every night.
How has the tour been received so far?
It’s been good I think? I’m never in the audience so it’s hard to say but people seam to like it, I haven’t been bottled off yet.
Has their been a particular highlight of the tour so far?
Well Norwich arts center was a highlight, it was an amazing venue, really nice acoustics, so that was a pleasure to play at.
The touring cycle for you began during the festival season, how was your experience of playing various festivals?
It was great we played like 25 festivals over the summer and I enjoyed all of them. The crowds always fun and it’s always a fun day. It was a lot of festivals to do and I was very tired by the end of it but I think it was the right thing to do. Overall it was a great experience.
Are there any plans to play any bigger venues soon?
Yeah I’m playing Shepard’s Bush Empire in London along with the academy 2 in Manchester in February. I’m a bit wary of playing bigger venues, sometimes the bigger rooms don’t always have the best vibe in them. It’s the vibe that makes a good show so I can promise you I’ll never play Wembley or a venue like that.
Your debut album (Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm) was released in June with great backing from radio and press how do you assess the positive reaction it has received?
I don’t. I made the album I’m really proud of it, I like the way it sounds and I like the songs. It’s not that I don’t care about what people think because I do, I just choose not to asses the reaction to it, if it sells 10 copies or 10 million copies. I’m really proud of the album and pleased people are coming to the shows, I love playing live and it great to meet new people. I’m not going to change the way I sound on the basis of what people write about me.
For anyone who hasn’t listened to the album how would you describe it?
I would describe it mainly as an acoustic record minimal in it’s production and quite chilled out as well.
Is there a favorite song on the album?
There’s no one favorite song on the album, but to play live I really love the song butterfly culture as it’s one of the older ones, for me It gives me nostalgic vibe when I play it because I can always remember where I was when that song came about. Its nice to still be touring it now.
Looking forward do you consider going off in a different direction musically or are you playing to continue the process of how you made the first album?
I don’t want to make the same album again, but acoustic guitar is my main instrument but I do have a couple of plans to expand the sound on the next record.
Are you writing any new material while on tour?
A little bit but not as much as I would like.
Do you slip in any new material at your shows or do you wait till it’s fully developed?
I play new stuff if the vibes right.
Back to touring, do you have Tour much outside of the UK?
I had to cancel a couple of festival dates in Iceland in the summer but I think I’m going to Hong Kong In December the hopefully the States as well.
How has your music been received abroad?
I think it’s good we’ve been getting some good airplay in the States and I keep getting comments from people around the world on Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, what are you ambitions as an artist in 2012?
My ambitions for the future are to keep making music, to keep writing and to keep recording.