Having toured the other side of the pond for the past month, the York singer-songwriter is back to his native north. “It is nice to be back in the North. Newcastle is beautiful. I have just had a little walk around the sweet little farm next door so I am very happy. It is good to be back playing some shows closer to home.”
On his most recent run of UK shows, Benjamin Francis Leftwich stripped everything back and played tracks from After The Rain (2016) and Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm (2011). “I have been touring for a year now and every night has been special in its own way.
“I am playing totally acoustic. I just hope people feel connected to the songs,” he adds. The setlist has been shuffled each night to keep things fresh, and also depending on what the crowd is like. “I generally have a clear idea of what the set will be, but I mix it up depending on the energy of the crowds.”
After The Rain has been out since August 2016 and has dominated the past year of touring. “We have definitely done an intense run of it, but I am very proud of it. I have been playing old songs, which has felt good.”
Amongst the old songs mentioned is Pictures (2011), which featured as iTunes’ Single of the Week and nudged Benjamin Francis Leftwich towards success. “That album [Last Smoke…] and those songs have lived on over time,” he explains with a certain proudness in his tone.
Keeping him company on the road are “Memoirs of a Geisha by John Williams, a French composer called Yann Tiersen.” Interesting additions to these are “a lot of Kanye West and The War on Drugs.” A solid combination of genres and artists, as well as his declaration of “I love Springsteen!”
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Benjamin Francis Leftwich is playing a string of festivals this summer. Tickets available here.