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Show Review

Ben Howard didn't expect the enthusiasm the met him upon his arrival in America. Perhaps the young British songwriter assumed audiences on this side of the Atlantic hadn't heard Every Kingdom; Howard's smoldering, recorded contribution to his home country's booming folk scene. When you align yourself with the musical community Mumford and Sons' Ben Lovett has been curating under the Communion imprint, American enthusiasts tend to notice though...the word gets out. All of which explains the packed past capacity gathering that welcomed Howard at our Launch Pad Party in Austin last month.

Howard's tidy, four song set was a tough one to get through the doors for, so we're thrilled to share this stunning capture of the performance with you now. The components of Howard's music are powered by his precise finger picking and somewhat vulnerable vocals, all accentuated by his fellow band mates' hearty percussive strokes, deep dwelling lines of bass, and chalky cuts of cello. It's dramatic stuff, starting humble and gradually gaining momentum as his set progresses. "Oates in the Water" is moody and mystic when paired next to the decidedly peppier "Only Love". "Old Pine" teeters on some stimulating brink, eventually tipping over the edge (also of note, Chris Bond's incredible display of talent, playing both drums and bass at the same time), transitioning into set closer "The Wolves", and ending like some runaway boulder tumbling down a mountain side. The aftermath is a cataclysmic storm of drums, snapping guitar strings, and a delirious crowd taking it all in. It's because of performances like these that Howard was greeted in this country with an enthusiasm that was unbeknownst to him. He's a special talent and we're thrilled to share his music with you today.

Transcript

Go your way I'll take the long way 'round
I'll find my own way down
As I should.
And hold your gaze
There's coke in the Midas touch A joke in the way that we rust,
And breathe again.
And you'll find loss
And you'll fear what you found When the weather comes around
Tearing down There'll be oats in the water
There'll be birds on the ground There'll be things you never asked her
Oh how they tear at you now
Go your way, I'll take the long way 'round, I'll find my own way down, As I should.
And hold your gaze There's coke in the Midas touch
A joke in the way that we rust, And breathe again.
And you'll find loss And you'll fear what you found
When the weather comes Tearing down
There'll be oats in the water There'll be birds on the ground
There'll be things you never asked her Oh how they tear at you now
"Only Love.
"
Darling you're with me, Always around me.
Only love, only love.
Darling I feel you under my body.
Only love, only love.
Give me shelter,
Or show me heart Come on love,
Come on love.
Watch me fall apart
Watch me fall apart.
And I'll be yours to keep.
A wind in the shadow,
A whale song in the deep.
A wind in the shadow,
A whale song in the deep.
Darling you're with me Always around me.
Only love, only love.
Darling I feel you under my body
Only love, only love.
Give me shelter or show me heart
Come on love, Come on love.
Watch me fall apart, Watch me fall apart.
And I'll be yours to keep.
Oh, a wind in the shadow,
A whale song in the deep.
A wind in the shadow,
A whale song...
Darling you're with me Always around me.
Only love, only love.
Darling I feel you under my body.
Only love, only love.
Give me shelter,
Or show me heart Come on love,
Come on love.
Watch me fall apart,
Watch me fall apart.
Watch me fall apart,
Watch me fall apart, Watch me fall apart,
Watch me fall apart, Watch me fall apart,
Watch me fall apart Watch me fall apart
Only love love love, Only love love love,
Only love love love, Girl show me heart.
Come on love love, Come on love love,
Come on love love love.
Watch me fall apart.
Come on love love, Come on love love,
Come on love love love.
Girl show me heart.
Show me love love love, Show me love love love,
Show me love love love.
Watch me fall apart.
Watch me fall in love.
Watch me fall...
Only love Only love
Only love Only love
Darling you're with me, Always around me
Only love, only love.
Darling I feel you
Forever and always Only love, only love.
Now give me shelter, Or show me heart.
Come on love, Come on love.
Watch me fall apart, Watch me fall apart.
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Hot sand on toes, Cold sand in sleeping bags,
I've come to know that memories Were the best things you ever had
The summer shone Beat down on bony backs
So far from home Where the ocean stood
Down dust and pine cone tracks And we slept like dogs
Down by the fire side Awoke to the fog
All around us The boom of summer time, yeah.
We stood steady As the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted And the warmth rang true
Inside these bones And as the old pine fell,
We sang Just to bless the morning.
Hot sand on toes, Cold sand in sleeping bags,
I've come to know The friends around you
Are all you'll always have Smoke in my lungs,
Or the echoed stone Careless and young,
Free as the birds that fly With weightless souls now.
We stood steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted and the warmth rang true inside these bones
We stood steady as the stars in the woods
So happy-hearted And the warmth rang true
Inside these bones As the old pine fell,
We sang Just to bless the morning.
We grow, grow steady as the morning Yeah, we grow, we grow older still
We grow, grow happy as a new dawn We grow, grow older still
We grow, grow steady as the flowers Yeah, we grow, grow older still
We grow, grow happy as a new dawn We grow, grow older still
Oh no, no, no
- Chris Bond on drums and bass over there.
- Thank you.
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh
I'm falling from high places, Falling through lost spaces,
Now that we're lonely, Now that there's nowhere to go.
Watching from both sides, These clock towers burning up,
I lost my time here, I lost my patience with it all.
And we lost faith, In the arms of love.
Where you been hiding lately, Where you been hiding from the news?
'Cause we've been fighting lately, We've been fighting with the wolves.
Ooh, with the wolves.
Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Red tongues and hands.
Red tongues and hands.
I'm falling from high places, Falling through lost spaces,
Now that we're lonely, Now that we're so far from home.
Watching from both sides, These towers been tumbling down,
I lost my mind here, I lost my patience with the Lord.
Oh, with the Lord And we lost faith,
Oh, in the arms of love Love, love, love
Where you been hiding lately, Where you been hiding from the news?
'Cause we've been fighting lately, We've been fighting with the wolves.
Ooh With the wolves.
Red tongues and hands.
Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh Oh, we lost faith in the arms of love.
- Thank you very much.
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love Love love love
- All right, sing it.
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love love (Love love love love)
Love love love
- Thank you all for singing.
Love love love love (Love love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love (Love love love)
Love love love Love love love
Love love love
And we lost faith in the arms of love
- Thank you very much for having us.
Thank you all for singing, too.
- Thank you.
- Thank you very much.

Artist Bio


Before launching his career as an acoustic singer/songwriter, Ben Howard grew up in South Devon, England, where his mother's collection of folk records helped instill a love for Joni Mitchell, Donovan, and Richie Havens. Howard also developed an interest in surfing, catching his first wave at the age of 11 and heading to the beach whenever he wasn't busy writing music in the folksy style of his influences. While pursuing a journalism degree years later, he briefly moved to Newquay, the surf capital of the U.K., where he received class credit for working at a surfing magazine. Howard dropped out of school six months shy of graduation, though, convinced by the surf community's enthusiastic response to his music -- which, despite its acoustic folk sound and beachy vibe, sounded more like John Martyn than Jack Johnson -- that he should ditch the newsroom and focus on songwriting.

The surf community proved to be a big stepping stone for Howard, who found himself playing to packed audiences long before his music spread beyond the U.K. beaches. He continued developing his style, too, adding a percussive element to his playing by learning to rap his knuckles across the guitar body between strums. A European tour with Xavier Rudd helped him build a wider audience in late 2008, as did the release of EPs like These Waters and Old Pine. By the time Howard finished recording his fulllength debut, Every Kingdom, in autumn 2011, he'd signed a major-label deal with Island Records (the same label that once released music by John Martyn) and graduated to headliner status, thanks to growing fan bases in England, Germany, France, and Holland.

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Ben Howard

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