After taking some time away, Ben Howard made a surprise return this year with the release of his third album, Noonday Dream. Continuing his musical voyage well into 2019, he’s set for a three-night residency at O2 Academy Brixton and if you weren’t excited enough already, here are 5 more reasons why it’s going to be one of the standout moments of the year.
1. The new album, Noonday Dream.
It may be a far cry from the acoustic-pop niceties of breakthrough album Every Kingdom, but Ben’s third full-length is still an incredible showcase of songwriting talent. Taking the listener down dusty roads of hazy, glistening psychedelia, working in twists and turns with every instrument, it fills your head with unexpected sounds that leave you in a state of bliss. From the kaleidoscopic ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’ and the percussion-led ‘Someone In The Doorway’ to the experimental ‘Murmurations’ which closes the 10-song offering, there’s something that’ll grab your attention in every track and when it’s played live it completely comes to life, which leads us on to…
2. If his recent live shows are anything to go by, this is going to be very special indeed
Alongside the release of the album, Ben also hit the road for a short string of headline shows, which sold out almost immediately. Focusing largely on the newer material, he stepped back out into the spotlight, whilst still retaining the intimate presence that has never wavered, no matter the size of the venue. As stunning scenery flickered on video screens in the background, Ben worked his way through a well-thought-out setlist which gave each song the chance to shine and wrap itself around fans’ ears. Though somewhat timid in person, his music creates a beautiful atmosphere, which only swells throughout his performance.
3. His live band has grown even more
Back when he started, Ben would only be joined on stage by bass/cello player India Bourne and percussionist Chris Bond, but since then he’s added more and more talented musicians to his touring troupe. On his most recent stint, he had a total of eight people joining him on stage, including two drummers, guitarists, keyboard players, backing vocalists and more. Though at first that may sound excessive, the magic it creates when they all perform together is enough to send waves of goosebumps over your body. Every single element of his music can be heard which only makes the whole experience more inviting.
4. It’s been four years since his last visit to O2 Academy Brixton
In fact, it’s been six years since he first appeared on the stage, before he returned in support of his second album, I Forget Where We Were. With each visit we’ve seen him grow as an artist and as a person and although his sound has taken him on a slightly different journey this time around, there’s no doubt that we'll be provided with some spectacular moments, which will pluck at our emotions and leave long-lasting memories.
5. It’ll be the perfect way to beat the post-Christmas blues
Taking place in mid-January, the shows will come at the right time for most. When you’re struggling with the back-to-work slog and your Christmas break feels like a lifetime away, Ben will be setting up in London for a three-day treat to lift your spirits. Plus, even if the thought of Christmas right now fills you with dread, plan ahead and surprise someone by putting tickets under the tree this coming festive season.
Don't hang about, grab your tickets for Ben Howard's residency now!
O2 Academy Brixton: Wednesday 16 January Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Brixton: Thursday 17 January Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Brixton: Friday 18 January Buy Tickets
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