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Date: 1st December 2012
Venue: The Duchess, York
You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stepped into some kind of surreal Italian restaurant with a stage on entering on the night of Ben Marwood's gig. Littered with candle-lit tables, families and 'older' people, the Duchess gave me something very different to what I was expecting.
2012 has been a slow year for Reading-born Marwood, with the Duchess show coming as only his 14th gig of the year - aside, of course, from writing and recording his second album scheduled for an early 2013 release.
If he was nervous, it didn't show as he chatted happily to the audience in between each song, his self-deprecating humour in stark contrast to the sometimes melancholy lyrics in his work. The setlist consisted mainly of first album material, and such notable tracks as 'Oh My Days' and 'Singalong' were all present. And how else to end a gig but with audience favourite 'Tell Avril Lavigne I Never Wanted to be her Stupid Boyfriend Anyway'?
Marwood did, however, include a few sneak previews of new material from the next album that sounded quite promising. For me, there's always been an element of the underdog about him; before his debut, his potential was hailed in a similar manner to contemporaries such as Glasvegas and label-mate Frank Turner, but despite critical acclaim of the album Outside There's A Curse, Marwood is still a relative unknown.
If I learnt anything at the Duchess, it's that the obvious support and enjoyment on the part of his audience proves just how committed an artist's fans can be. With another album, this small but dedicated fanbase will grow, and Ben Marwood will become a treasured artist; some of the greatest music careers began in this way. My night spent amongst candles and codgers was perfect, and I can see big things in Ben Marwood's future. As long as he continues to stay away from that Avril Lavigne.