Benjamin Francis Leftwich / KOKO
With a new album, ‘In The Open’, on the horizon and edging ever closer to it’s release date in late November (the 19 to be a tad more precise), the 23 year–old from York has embarked on what is a seemingly brutal and extensive tour schedule, with little room for “Ben Time” (interpret that how you will).
A set that was predominantly filled with the folk crooners first outing, ‘Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm’, included the likes of ‘Pictures’, ‘1904’, ‘Snowship’ and various others that had Leftwich swaying subtly and subduedly to and from the mic.
From the (not so) old and into the new, ‘Manchester Snow’ was unveiled with Leftwich introducing the thesis behind it, in that he’d slept with a girl 23 times in one week, which now seemingly makes sense of the hectic schedule, a day would be useless and unsatisfactory in the life of Ben. For the track itself, it was in the similar mould of the trademark swooning and earnestness that Leftwich bestows so well, maybe a tad to earnest at times, declaring: “When you were giving head in the cold of this bed I had lapped you twice”.
Originally situated at the top of KOKO and having eventually worked my way down to the bottom, a pattern was evident amongst the crowd, in that, more than a few had pursued to continuously converse throughout the set, only ceasing to a stop when Leftwich decided to go completely unplugged, which then ensued a school like silence. But when the silence did ensue, as was evident on the closing track ‘Atlas’, a euphoric eeriness blanketed over KOKO with a complete unison choir-like chorus, which was the only complete, but wonderful, engagement shown by the crowd as a collective.
Apart from this minor spectating issue, Benjamin himself was on stellar form and further continued to emphasise through his endearing, humble charm and uncomplicated folk telling’s that there’s longevity ahead.
‘In The Open’ is out November 19.