A Love Letter To Live Music


Benjamin Francis Leftwich // The Button Factory, Dublin, 2019 – Adam Goldsmith 

You could hear a pin drop while you waited for the night’s act to appear. No rapturous alcohol-induced excitement from expectant masses, just quiet, respectful anticipation. When Benjamin Francis Leftwich did materialise, it was as a silhouette on stage, the sound of a tiptoe which turned into a breath.

Looking back, there was something ethereal about how the night turned out. I was there alone, in a country that wasn’t my home. Despite quasi-reluctance—the kind where FOMO battles with anxiety—I finally convinced myself that gig-going could be a solo affair. With Guinness on tap to keep me company, I’d be fine. 

For the York native, the environment was also an unfamiliar one, recently at least. Performances had been rare as he battled with addiction, and the anxiety of this reclusive artist in returning to the spotlight was palpable. But in the cocoon of The Button Factory, tucked away moments from the hen-party charged exuberance of Dublin’s Temple Bar, there was an aura of acceptance.

Not a single word was spoken as the York-based singer made his way through a delicate set-list. We live vicariously through the performers we admire, and in that quiet, welcoming calm, it felt as though both our anxieties were dispelled in the comfort of a crowd.


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