Ben Howard has come a long way from his humble singer-songwriter beginnings and judging from his recent sold out show at the Hifi, he won’t be going away very soon. Ben’s second album Every Kingdom was release in 2011 and has finally received the appreciation it deserves in Australia.
I first saw Ben Howard play under a small gazebo surrounded by an audience sitting on the grass at ‘Bestival’, a boutique music festival held on the Isle of Wight in the UK. Before then his quirky voice had never graced my ears but from that point on it was clear that his originality and unassuming charm was destined for bigger things than a gazebo.
The moment Ben walked on to the modest HiFi stage he had the crowd under his spell. 30 seconds into the first song and I knew that this gig was going to be fantastic; his presence that lit up the room and (as lame as it sounds) brought everyone together. No one cared about what you were wearing or how you were dancing, everyone was there for the music, which is how it should be.
A few songs in Ben started losing his voice and, although he apologised more than was necessary, the rasp in his already textured voice made it sound even better. I had no favourite song because every one was so beautiful but I was surprised at just how many people knew the lyrics to every song, bar his final one which has not yet been released.
Ben made sweet love to the guitar for a solid hour, all the while interacting with the audience. It was like a music orgy. There’s no doubt that when Ben Howard returns to Australia I will be there. This was a show that I won’t forget.