Ben Howard / Lucy Rose / Rich Thomas @ Scala, London 26.10.11

Outside the Scala this evening the rain continues to pour. Traffic continues to get worse, and the queue for tonight's show is getting rowdier by the minute. This of course, is outside. Whereas inside, the electric vibe within the venue grows higher and higher as first support Rich Thomas (of the band Brother and Bones) steps onto stage. With his boots, (un)buttoned shirt, and jeans collaboration, Rich sits himself onto a stool and begins to play arena worthy tune ‘(Just Another) Man In Need’. His powerful vocals and attacking guitar strums blend well together for the stripped back version of his band's usually heavy, up beat ,foot stomping track.

Oct 26th, 2011 at Scala, London / By Joshua Edwards
Ben Howard / Lucy Rose / Rich Thomas @ Scala, London 26.10.11 The broad range of dynamics and general feel of the next few tracks somewhat shocks and intrigues the audience as Rich delves into mellow love songs including ‘Gold & Silver’, and thumping powerhouse tunes like first single ‘Don't Forget To Pray’ grants Mr Thomas the ability to engage himself further with the audience more comfortably and receive truly positive reactions. Throwing his truest emotions into every song, by the end of Rich's performance the growing audience roars with joy and hunger to hear this lad again.

Second support act Lucy Rose rests herself onto her raised platform throne like chair, says nothing, and begins her set with beautiful, gripping song ‘Place’. Her humble vocals captures the crowd, every word, every note, sends someone into a trancelike state of both bliss and pure enjoyment. Shy and (possibly) nervous, Lucy chats to the audience drawing them in closer as if they were best friends all along. Strolling easily through her set; Lucy and her band take a moment to offer the audience the opportunity to incorporate themselves in the final track ‘Bikes’. A simple task to scream at the optimum moment proves no difficulty for the crowd as they yell their lungs out. Smiles all round and laughter all over, Lucy Rose ups the ante of the night for headliner Ben Howard.

Final act of the evening Ben Howard has come a long way since the release of his EP Old Pine this year. Growing a fanbase internationally, this Totnes boy has been climbing the success ladder ever since. Supporting his new album Every Kingdom Ben, cellist India, and drummer Chris, step onto stage and hum in unison to start off the night with b side ‘Depth Over Distance’. The night begins quietly but Ben sinks his teeth into the hearts of the audience and challenges their emotions with his songs of affection and energetic climaxes. Brave Ben brings the mood of the night up and down with a range of songs that change with not only speed but belting vocals, approaching whispers, and goosebump inducing lyrics. Tracks like ‘The Wolves’, ‘Old Pine’ and ‘Keep Your Head Up’ bring forth obvious backing vocals from the audience, and with this it is blatantly obvious that Ben has only one way to look...Up. A sold out tour ahead of him and a successfully charted album, the madness might never stop for the surfer and his friends.