Ben Howard - Empress Ballroom, Blackpool

So myself and two friends took the train from Manchester to Blackpool last month to see Ben Howard play one of two shows on his tour at the Empress Ballroom. We went early on in the day to have a scope around the town before heading to the gig at night, then we realised there's really not much there. Other than the pleasure beach that I go to most years the town looks like it's stuck in the 70s. The back streets make where I live in Salford look heavenly, and let me tell you it's not.
The Empress Ballroom is situated on the high street within the Winter Gardens (right near a Nandos where we ate just before) The first thing that got me when I walked in was how beautiful the building was - no doubt the nicest place I've ever been to a gig. As it was built in 1896 and as it is a listed building there wasn't any air con so it was BOILING, but other than that, an absolutely amazing place which I'd recommend everyone to visit!

I have seen Ben Howard twice before and he has been incredible both times, although his music isn't particularly upbeat it captures the audience in a way you rarely see. This was shown as he began the gig with 'Everything' and 'Black Flies' - undoubtedly two of the slowest songs on the album. The only song that I was gutted about not being on the set list was 'Esmeralda' as its one of my favourites, he did however play other songs from 'The Burgh Island EP'. Similarly to this, Ben also did two new songs which seemed to have a darker edge to them than those off his debut, showing that he isn't a one trick pony.

When I have previously seen Ben Howard the crowd have been pretty morbid and stood still for the whole hour, but in Blackpool people were bouncing about all over the gaff. I think the fact that it was a ballroom floor contributed to this as you could feel everybody's movement but also the fact that most people will have travelled to get there - meaning they should really be a fan of him. Seeing as how a high percentage of Blackpool's population is 50 + I don't think he'd have many fans situated there.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, his band are incredible! They play so many instruments between the two of them, you look to the back of the stage the drummer will be sat there playing the guitar. India Bourne and Chris Bond helped create 'Every Kingdom', with India playing cello, Keys, Ukulele, Bass and contributing vocals and Percussion whereas Chris plays Guitars, Bass, Double bass, Drums, Percussion, Keys, Accordion and also contributing to Vocals. Wow.

Overall a brilliant little trip to Blackpool, it's nice to travel a bit to get to a gig instead of just going to ones in Manchester - I'll definitely jump at the chance of going back there again!

Read what happened when I saw Ben Howard in November here
My friend Rosie who came with me also has a lovely blog


  1. I'd love to see him live... His album is amazing!! Looks like you had a brilliant time! Lovely post!
    Rachael x
    Rachaeleeno | Beauty, Fashion & Thoughts

    1. I've seen him a couple of times now, brilliant live! x