Review by Lucy Warren
Ben Howard and his band played to a full house in the Olympia, Dublin on Sunday night, from what I could see it was a mixed bag of fans, some knew every word to every song and others were out for a chat with their friends! Much like the difference between his debut Every Kingdom and the new album I Forget Where we Were, where Ben clearly wears his musical influences on his sleeve, I didn't know what to expect from the live show.
New album stand out tracks (although often played live) 'I Forget Where We Were' and 'Small Things' seemed popular with the crowd singing along, anthemic tunes sure to be a hit at next year's festivals.
Oldies- Black Flies, a really rocking version of The Fear (cue massive crowd sing along..) and one of my favourites, Gracious ( encore with India Bourne) were slipped into the set.
I didn't know as many of the newer songs but loved the guitar sound and the overall feel of the music. There's space in these songs for the band to jam over, expand and to create a soundscape that you can close your eyes and get a bit lost in. Bens voice cuts a path through the whole thing and guides you back out the other side.
My overall thoughts... ..I enjoyed the gig, Ben Howard plays really good music, he has a brilliant band (I'm so glad it was a full band), and it was a decent venue to showcase the new album, which is what this tour is all about.
The songs sound so much better live. I loved the atmosphere, there were a few moments where I really got that thrill of a song, but at times it also felt introverted. BH wasn't very talkative, more intense and tended to get stuck into his guitar and rock along with the band, and the light show (yay for the photographer in me..!) on the stage coupled with the fog machine led to it being very hard to see the band at all! I will definitely be giving the new album a few more listens.