Belfast Telegraph

Monday 25 May 2015

Brooding style is Howard's way as fans enjoy his triumphant return

In November 2011, Ben Howard played his debut Belfast show at the Stiff Kitten nightclub.

Twenty-one months, two Brit Awards and half a million sales of his debut album, Every Kingdom, later, he returned triumphantly on Saturday night for a headline slot at this year's Belsonic festival.

In between, he has also played the Waterfront Hall, but whereas that venue's bright, white expanses seemed an uncomfortable fit for this brooding performer, the open-air setting in Custom House Square complemented Howard's introspective indie-folk rather well.

Taking to the stage as darkness fell, the singer-songwriter's meandering jams and shadowy backdrops certainly conjured an intense mood in the audience.

As he delivered the John Martyn-influenced likes of Old Pine, Only Love, Keep Your Head Up and The Fear, there wasn't a lot of energy, but there was loads of atmosphere.

Announcing it was his "second-to-last show for the foreseeable future", Howard made sure his fans knew the night was special to him.

"Thank you," he said.

"Thank you for welcoming us back.

"Thank you for braving the rain."

For an artist often characterised by his lack of communicative skills, it was as chatty as he's likely to get.

From the back of a capacity crowd (Howard's was the first of this year's Belsonic gigs to sell out), it was hard to tell exactly what was going on, but a bit of distance from the stage allowed the night sky to become part of an already enigmatic spectacle.


COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


A friend will tell you about a job opening at their company. This lead will turn into a dead end. Don't set your hopes on this possibility. Instead of looking for another job, concentrate on fulfilling your duties. Tempers are running high. The last thing you want is to catch the attention of an irritable superior. If someone does criticise your work, remain silent. These remarks may be terribly unfair, but defending yourself will only make the situation worse. Breathe deep. This, too, shall pass.More