LSO St Luke's, Old Street
added: 17 Oct 2012
// gig date: 24 Oct 2012
reviewer: Victoria Dillingham
Simple, honest and heartfelt are three words that best encapsulate Ben Howard’s debut album, Every Kingdom. And his live performance at the LSO St Luke’s was much the same.
You’d be forgiven for feeling like you’d walked in on a private recording session on Wednesday night, as the pint sized singer-songwriter took to the stage in Old Street to remind fans why he’s worthy of this year’s Mercury Prize, sponsored by Barclaycard.
His debut musical offering charted at number six in the UK album charts last October. A year on it’s now up for Album of the Year, along with 11 others including: Plan B, The Maccabees, Field Music and Jessie Ware.
The 25-year-old wasted little time in powering through hit after hit from the album, alongside multi-instrumentalist India Bourne. Bourne accompanied him on drums and double bass, while Chris Bond took to keys and guitar. Both musicians play on the original album, Every Kingdom.
Couples held each other close, while others watched in awe during the emotive Black Flies and the beautiful album opener Old Pine. But it was upbeat favourites such as: Only Love and The Fear that brought the crowd to life, leaving them whooping for more.
A undisputable encore and people humming the opening bars for The Wolves, brought the West London born singer-songwriter bounding back to the stage for one final song - The Wolves.
It’s hard to know if Howard garnered any new fans following the performance, as people lucky enough to secure tickets seemed to know every word and chord. But was is clear, come the end of his flawless and intimate set, is that Howard's truly deserved of the nomination, which is no mean feat given the infancy of his musical career. I think we can look forward to much more from the singer-songwriter in the years and albums to come.
The winner of this year’s Barclaycard Mercury Prize for album of the year will be announced on Thursday 1st November.
The Maccabees will take to the stage at the LSO tonight (Wednesday, 24th October).
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