Whilst the pairing of black Air Max 97’s and tracksuit bottoms, with delicate acoustic melodies and serene falsetto may be perceived as a fairly quirky juxtaposition at a glance – in actual fact, Benjamin Francis Leftwich presents an on-stage appearance that is as real as the themes on his records.
Touring in support of acclaimed new album Gratitude, the Yorkshire born singer-songwriter brought complete tranquillity to Leaf in Liverpool. Supported by Rosie Carney, who warmed the audience with a short set, comprising of her soulful folk songs from this year’s full-length debut Bare, Carney displayed her phenomenal prowess in a live setting.
The venue itself, an all-around idyllic setting, assisted in creating a fitting mood for the singer, with a plenitude of plants and string bulb lights decorating the room wall to wall.
Throughout the set, the deathly quiet, almost meditative state during each song was met with the contrast of loud acclamation from the audience at the end of a song. Benjamin gave recognition to the audience, declaring that this show was his “favourite of the tour so far” and followed shortly with a special “unplugged” performance of ‘Shine’ (without the assistance of a microphone and his guitar unplugged) – which must have been a bummer for those folks situated at the back of the room.
For some reason, this was the first gig I can remember in a long time, if ever, where I was fooled by the ceremonial walk-off pre-encore – perhaps it was Benjamin’s sincerity during the set that lured me into a false sense of security, thinking that he wouldn’t deceive the audience with such a cheap trick. Thankfully, he returned to the stage following the ruse, posing the question – “3 more?” and rounded the night off in superb fashion with 2011’s ‘Atlas Hands’.
Header Image Credit: BBC