Melodic. Atmospheric. Psychedelic. Three words which perfectly summarise Ben Howard's most recent Birmingham show. The Devon born singer songwriter oozed creative moodiness from the get-go and had the crowd hooked onto every single word.
Ben Howard kicked off the show with 'Am I In Your Light?' which consisted of a long enticing intro before he chipped in with some chilling vocals. With only very little in-between song engagement, Howard let his singing do the talking (if that makes sense) as he floated from song to song.
The transitions between each song were seamless and we soon found ourselves four tracks in with 'I Forget Where We Were'. He went on to play a mixture of new material, a few old classics and even a cheeky cover (not Carly Rae Jepsons 'Call Me Maybe' unfortunately) - but still pleased both the newest and the most loyal Ben Howard fans.
It was a slow paced show, but it's what we've came to expect from 27-year-old...and we wouldn't want it any other way!
The stage set up was stripped back, with the inclusion of a few screens which helped portray an artistic vibe throughout the show. Howard was joined by his band who were obviously very talented, but also extremely versitile as India Bourne effortlessly moved from vocals, to double bass, to guitar...major skills!
As a BIG fan of The Walking Dead, I was kinda hoping Ben Howard was going to drift into 'Oats In The Water' at some point during the set, nethertheless, he still completely wowed me throughout his two hour performance.
He really came into his own when performing Keep Your Head Up and Conrad with his passion for performing oozing from the stage into the crowd, who were lovin' it!
Mr Howard left the stage to a sea of appaulse after performing 'End of the Affair' before re-emerging five minutes later, glass of wine in hand, for the encore. Ben treated the Birmingham crowd to the classic 'The Wolves' and ended the show with 'Esmerelda' which was pretty amazing.
Overall, it was a show that true Ben Howard fans loved and neutrals appreciated. Somehow he manage to turn our beloved concrete jungle of Birmingham, into a sandy coastal Devon-esc beach.
Reviewed by Todd Newton