Benjamin Francis Leftwich
DAVID HOLLAND doesn’t dare to cough in case he interrupts this moving and excellent gig.
ARU, Monday 17th October, £8
Benjamin Francis Leftwich is a stellar performer. He has enough talent and charm to become a number one selling artist, and it’s clear that he’s just a hit single away from making it big.
The performance hall at ARU is of similar temperature and humidity to a jock strap. It’s tightly packed and so noisy that I felt really sorry for the support acts, who were considerably quieter than the crowd.
But as soon as BFL opened his mouth to sing, the crowd fell silent. So silent, in fact, that I feel rude coughing. BFL is naturally relaxed in that I’m-so-confident-I-appear-deliberately-nervous kind of way that I swear most of the girls in the audience were ovulating. Switching between a variety of acoustics, he had a good grasp of which instruments suited the playing style of each song – something that is massively in credit to his abilities as a singer/songwriter.
Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Atlas Hands
His tracks don’t feel lost without the string and jazz percussion that dominates his album, Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm. My favourite track Pictures went down particularly well, and none of the delicacies of the record were lost. BFL’s soft and distinctly British vocals sound near identical to the studio version. He played a few older tracks that only the die-hard fans recognised, but these just evoked silence and appreciation in the crowd rather than a mumbling sing-along.
BFL’s crowd interaction seemed shaky at first. But about 20 minutes into the set he thanked the crowd by ditching his microphone and moving towards the audience to perform ‘unplugged’. Putting his faith in the audience’s silence and gaining a more natural sound was borderline touching.
Having now heard his debut album and seen him perform, I have no doubt that Benjamin Francis Leftwich is both a genuine talent and a future star. Believe (if you can) the Radio 1 hype – he really is very good.
Benjamin Franics Leftwich – Pictures