Ben Marwood kicks off his comeback tour at the Brunswick tonight, after more than three years off the road.
Back in 2014, after a long line of cancelled dates, it was unsure we’d ever hear of Ben Marwood again.
Struck down by an intense yearlong illness which saw Marwood reluctantly “embracing horizontal living”, the singer-songwriter was stopped in his tracks – and his future in the industry was uncertain. At one point, he even considered against making a return to music.
Thank goodness he changed his mind.
Though unable to play live (an inability to stand for long periods owing to the dizzying effects of labyrinthitis), Marwood continued to write, and thus his third album Get Found is the result.
We’ve had a sneaky listen (it’s not ‘officially’ out until tomorrow), and it’s much as you’d expect – classic, confessional Marwood, yet somewhat more daring; demanding of attention, with added wisdom, experience, and passion.
A toddler Ben Marwood introduces the album with the song Punched in the Mouth (Part 1), signifying a reincarnation of sorts. From then on, it’s a glorious contrast of clean, finger-styled guitar and raw vocals, all displayed through varying styles and tempos. From the energetic Church of No Commandments and sombre singalong song Nights to the gentle, melancholic Enraptured, each song serves as a gift to all the fans that have missed him.
Though Marwood’s inspiration for I’m Wide Awake It’s Boring may stem from darker experiences, students will resonate with the song’s lyrics, which echo the catatonic state between being hungover and procrastinating before deadlines: “I’m not dead, I’m not dying, I just can’t get up.”
As with previous efforts, the standout of Marwood’s music is his lyricism; his ability to weave stories through melody is unique in an industry obsessed by the ‘millennial whoop’. The most confessional perhaps, Baby You’re A Mess, is an ode to a failing relationship I’m sure we can all relate to.
A gruff poet of sorts, Marwood’s return has been long awaited – and it’s been more than worth it, if not least to see the singer back on his feet again, then also for his follow-up to 2013’s Back Down.
It’s great to see the man that brought us Demons four years ago back on his feet. For his first Brighton date since 2010, all together now: welcome back.
“This city is so full of demons, and we’ve demonised all that we can.
But it isn’t the size of the man in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the man.”
– Demons, 2013
Get Found is released tomorrow (April 7) on Xtra Mile Recordings.
Ben plays the following shows around the country this month (all shows with support from Xtra Mile labelmate Non Canon, additional support from Helen Chambers marked with *):
6th – Brunswick, Brighton*
7th – Monarch, London*
8th – Southsea Sound, Portsmouth*
10th – Crofters Rights, Bristol*
11th – Bodega, Nottingham*
12th – Fulford Arms, York*
14th – Opium, Edinburgh
15th – Hug & Pint, Glasgow
16th – Gullivers, Manchester*