Gig Review: Benjamin Francis Leftwich @ The Ruby Lounge – 15/10/11

By Jessica Cree & Rebecca Cohen

Upcoming Indie singer/songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich certainly knows how to pull in a crowd.

At his latest gig in Manchester, the York-born musician – who is inspired by the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Ryan Adams – was delighted to be performing to a full-house.

Talking to Mancunian Matters, Benjamin said: “I like Manchester a lot. I just really like the Manchester crowd – it’s really nice.

“It’s always a fun show.”

The performer, who has been compared to Damien Rice and José González, has been writing music since the age of ten – something that comes across in his mature blend of lyrics and melody.

However, despite Benjamin’s music being expressive and heartfelt, he does make a mistake in asking his audience to remain quiet in one of his earlier numbers.

In the social environment of the Ruby Lounge, his soothing sound is perfect for background listening – not for intense concentration. Sometimes his voice can get lost amidst the chatter of the crowd, making projection the most notable point to improve.

Nonetheless, it is refreshing to hear a performer not reeling off cover after cover, in the style of TV talent shows.

Commenting on the X Factor, Benjamin said: “I don’t think much of it really. I think it’s nasty the way they do it.

“They don’t get a lot of creative freedom – they are not allowed to sing originals whilst they are on the show, and when they do finally release an original, they are not allowed to write it themselves.”

Benjamin has recently released ‘Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm’ – a full album of ‘originals’ that truly exposes his musical flair.

He may not have the array of music to headline at Glastonbury, but Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s set will continue to provide a relaxing atmosphere in some of the country’s most intimate venues.

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