Benjamin Francis Leftwich on gigging in Manchester, lazing in parks & his musical influences

By Jessica Cree

Benjamin Francis Leftwich, one of the country’s most exciting new talents, continues his UK tour with a visit to Manchester’s The Ruby Lounge on October 15.

The singer-songwriter’s debut album, Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm, was released in June and features a melodic mix of songs about ‘moments in time’.

His nationwide tour featured a gig on the acoustic stage at Glastonbury and a performance at the Reading and Leeds Festival – not bad for a 21-year-old.  Next stop, Manchester…

Are you looking forward to your gig in Manchester?

I always look forward to playing in Manchester.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I’ve played loads of festivals this summer.  I played the Greenman festival at night time, there were loads of people there and there was an awesome vibe.

What was it like performing at Glastonbury?

It was cool.  There were quite a lot of people there – I wasn’t expecting that.  I was definitely affected by the mud!

When was your first big break?

It’s just been a natural progression; I wouldn’t say there was one big break.  Having the opportunity to work with Ian Grindle, the producer of my album, was important.

What/ who has influenced your music?

Definitely Bruce Springsteen and The Beetles.  Also Ryan Adams, an amazing singer-songwriter from New York.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met and did you get star struck?

A lot of my really close friends are in bands. I played a couple of shows with James Morrison and Ed Sheeran, they’re not really my type of music but I don’t really get star struck.

Whose music are you particularly enjoying listening to at the moment?

I don’t really listen to music in the charts.  I like Ryan Adams, a New Zealand band called the Muttons, Kate Bush and an Irish band called Foybance.

What would your perfect night out be?

Honestly? I’d like to go out with friends and chill by the river in York with a few beers and go to a couple of bars afterwards.  I don’t really like clubs.

When was the last time you were in Manchester?

I was there on the last tour.  I played a gig at Deaf Institute on May 6th.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says Manchester?

I think of a park in Fallowfield. I used to go there to chill with friends.

City or United?

Neither.  I’m an Arsenal fan.

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