Words: Lisa Thomson.
No venue in Edinburgh would have been more suited to the insanely talented Ben Howard. The Usher Hall in Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful I have seen, Celebrating it’s 100th year of music and entertainment, many would struggle to have chosen somebody better to grace that stage, The same stage that has seen some of the worlds legends play.
“played some absolute shit holes on this tour and we get to this place and we feel really privileged”
Gracing the stage with no theatrics, no fireworks and no OTT production exclaiming “I’m here!!!” Ben timidly gives the crowd a small wave and in return gets a ferocious roar mixed in with the crowds attempt to recreate the opening of one of his most popular songs “The Wolves”.
Alongside mesmerising visuals, Ben and the rest of the band takes their places and kicks the night off with one of his many hauntingly beautiful tracks “Conrad”. The crowd (and myself) began to fall in silent love. As the night drew on and tracks such as the incredibly popular “I Forgot Where We Were”, “Small Things” and “All Is Now Harmed” were played along with occasional fuzzed up visuals of a projection coming from a camera strapped to Ben’s mic stand.
After admitting that the whole album is “pretty much the same tempo” during his “acoustic chapter” of the set Ben and his band continued on to treat the crowd to old favourite “The Fear”. With the opening bars played it appeared that the whole crowd was hit by the effects of the bar. Singing word for word and jumping like maniacs (or as manically as possible at a folk singer/songwriters gig)
With each track coming with different visuals, different light productions and sometimes a whole different method of playing the guitar this performance was one of the most captivating and beautiful I have and will ever get the chance to see.
After casually bantering with the crowd, stating that he drinks more than the average Scot in a night (proving so by downing his pint) and performing the standard encore Ben left the stage and left a semi disappointed crowd without a performance of his most popular track “Only Love”. It is clear with the new album that Ben is wanting to grow with his music and not be tied to old hits, as seen at the gig this will be sure to bring disappointment but there will be a new Ben Howard anthem before we know it.