Monday, December 6

Ben Howard

- October 11, 2011

Nu-acoustic trailblazing comes to Komedia

Having built up a considerable following, mainly among the ever-growing surfer community, via word-of-mouth, hard work and not a little skill, Ben Howard is one of the most exciting nu-acoustic musicians to have emerged in recent years.

From a liberal-hippie family in Devon, inspired by his dad’s record collection, which included the delights of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Richie Havens, Howard developed a guitar-playing style that involves strumming, plucking and hammering the instrument for rhythmic purposes.

While training as a journalist (he spent six months on a surfing (what else?) magazine in Newquay (where else!?), before realising he could, ‘get away with’ being a musician full-time.

“A lot of people said I was crazy to leave that close to the end of the course… But a friend of mine said, ‘the most beautiful lives are the ones that take risks’, which was encouraging. And my parents were very supportive: they told me to do whatever makes me happy.”

Such sentiments could have had others running for the exit in some peculiar desire to do something that perhaps made them unhappy, but the seemingly level-headed Howard went for it, and at 24 is making a living from making and playing music.

The debut album Every Kingdom has just been released, following on the heels of the Old Pine EP earlier on the year, both released on Island Records, the legendary label he signed to earlier in the year. And his constantly busy touring schedule, often with his band of India on cello with Chris on bass and drums, has made Howard a formidable artist, in control of his art and with a almost rabid fanbase who delight in his natural tones, rhythmically gentle textures and an engaging performances.

“They sold me the idea on the back of their involvement with Nick Drake and John Martyn,” says Ben of Islands’ selling techniques… “That’s my era. When I saw their roster I couldn’t say no.”

Ben Howard, Komedia, Tuesday 11 October, 7.30pm. SOLD OUT

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