Tuesday, 27 November 2012

... listening to live music - Ben Howard & Willy Mason

Sunday Night I went to see the amazingly talented Ben Howard and his band members India Bourne and Chris Bond at the 02 in Boscombe. This gig was particularly special as Willy Mason was also supporting him and I had not seen him play live before. Willy Mason is somewhat new to my ears, I only really discovered him this year. But I think he is going to be the next big thing, I'm sure he is already, he deserves to be, his lyrics say something about society and life as a young twenty something, its not the dribble of boy band acoustic music we are used to. At work Maria and I, and our boss Paul share our music around and Willy Mason has been one of my favourite recommendations. I love his rich gravelly voice, and how he lets rip, changing the tone of his songs as he feels. He also makes me want to get up and dance which can be a bit difficult when I'm driving in my car!

In fear of sounding like an over aged groupie - I love Ben Howard! I have been following his success now for four years. I first heard him at a very small gig at 60 million postcards in Bournemouth in 2009  It was just him and his acoustic guitar, strumming out, in his strange way some really incredible songs. All about everything I love about the simplicities and complexities of life;  friends, family, the ocean, campfires, loss, nostalgia,family. I bought his ep These Waters - And listened to those four tracks up and down the A3450 road back home (on many occasions on repeat) Many of my friends had not heard about him, I know it's hard to believe now, but I felt that it was important to share the Ben Howard love. But he has made it! And very much deserves to be recognised. This little EP got me through an incredibly difficult time in late Winter of 2010. Singing my lungs out in the car really helped! So I thank Ben for this! And glad to say that all is ok with my Dad now.

On a brighter note his songs have some great memories:

Ben Howard - Field View Festival 2011

Field View fun 2011

(my sister) - Lacanau road trip South France 

Me and my flatmate Jo, would sing to the top of the hills on many road trips to Old Pine, my sister and I sang to Every Kingdom when driving through rough roads in Lacanau in the south of France. I'm sure Kylie was singing out of fear. But it did a great job of keeping our minds of the fact that I was driving in a foreign country, in a hire car, it was the middle of the night and there were too many road closures for our liking. Field View Festival 2011 - Ben Howard headlined on the Friday night, they had sound difficulties but the crowd were amazing and Ben just battled through it! My favourite gig by far was at Moles Club on the 13th April an (old school days haunt) It was a tiny gig but the atmosphere was incredible,at times it felt almost like a religious gathering in terms of the attentiveness of the crowd. Greenman Festival 2011 was out of this world, four days of beautiful scenery and music from; Ben Howard, The Avett Brothers, Laura Marling, to name just a few. I don't think you can compare Ben Howard to any of the musical 'greats'. His voice is unique with a huge pull, his lyrics are poignant and murky with just the right amount of melancholy reflection. I'm very much looking forward to getting my limited edition Burgh Island Vinyl EP in the post.

My Top 3 Ben Howard Songs are: 

1. London 
2. Three Tree Town 
3. Diamonds

Thank you for being part of the soundtrack of my life Ben & Willy and keep on writing!

My Favourite Ben Howard Song -Three Tree Town 

I would love to hear about what you are listening to?

Gem x

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