As the folk iron was hot, I checked out this “prodigious talent” people were talking about in the same breath as Ed Sheeran.
Date: October 4, 2011
Venue: Glee Club
His name may sound like a turn of the century politician, but Benjamin Francis Leftwich is no outdated bore. He’s the freshest faced of the fresh faces of nu-folk’s fresh-faced elite, the likes of whom belong to a brethren that include Bon Ivor, James Vincent McMorrow, and its glorified pied piper and this year’s folkie wunderkind, Ed Sheeran.
Folk, it seems, is back in. It’s not quite cutting edge, en vogue, or even trendy, but by ‘eck it’s a lovely change to hear strings calmly plucked, hushed tones fondling wistful lyrics, and soft melodies escaping like will ‘o the wisps over misty moonlit lovers’ lakes instead of turgid two-a-penny electro dirge hammering away at your eardrums.
And by ‘eck, this 22-year-old Yorkshireman (Yarkshire? With a name like that, lad?) evokes all of the clichéd pastoral imagery that folk is associated with, but he does it so elegantly, and with all the grace of Nick Drake and Elliot Smith, two masters of this game.
Atlas Hands could send ADHD-ridden children instantly to sleep by virtue of its soothing finesse, while his raspy-yet-dreamy voice is like a sonic cushion to the ears. And if Atlas Hands is the warm side of that metaphor, Box Of Stones is the gloriously satisfying cool side.
His beatific lullabies are perfect for their intricate setting at Glee, in which the seated audience are almost entranced by this talented young songsmith’s masterful art. Delicacy never sounded so good