Benjamin Francis Leftwich is a man in demand, over the past year he’s managed to build up interest across the board with critical acclaim. He’s achieved regular airplay from Radio 1 and played over 20 festivals in the summer. With his début album ‘Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm’ breaking the Top 40 in the album chart he has now embarked on a comprehensive solo tour across the UK, playing over 20 dates. Choosing to play smaller intimate venues he sold out the Talking Heads in Southampton in no time, something he’s been able to replicate across the country.
Main support of the night came in the form of Daughter, a female singer songwriter. Backed up with an electric guitar player the acoustic/electric combination worked in unison drifting across the tightly packed crowd. On stage, Daughter captures an image of quirkiness and tranquility, combined with her haunting vocals it makes for a deadly combination to have at your disposal.
The setlist mixed songs from his debut album ‘Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm’ with songs of his E.P. ‘A Million Miles Out’ and an unexpected cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Atlantic City’ which was aired on the electric guitar. The cover helped break up the set allowing him to share his interpretation of his favorite song. Benjamin also found time to bring out a new track, stepping away from the mic he performed out in the open, the crowd remained silent and transfixed adding to a sense of community.
Choosing not to project his sound through the sound system Benjamin shows he likes the natural element in his songs to remain intact, it’s this approach to his song writing that allows him to share a part of himself on stage, out for the world to see. Before leaving the stage Benjamin saved his most famous song till last, performing ‘Atlas Hands’ into the audience. The song caught the imagination of the audience singing along with the tender vocals. “ I’ve got a plan, I’ve got an atlas in my hand” as the song fades out words linger before the gracious audience erupt with appreciation eager for more.
On first look Benjamin Francis Leftwich is just another singer songwriter to add to the collection. But as you seek out his music you realize you get a lot more than songs, you get to take a piece of him with you as he sings wondrously into your ears. Personality means a lot in music, something Benjamin has in abundance, but these are still the early days. Time will be the true testament to his revolve but I’m sure as his charm appeals to a wider audience, he will remain integral to the fan base that have already joined him for the ride.
Words: Dale Davies