Benjamin’s in the frame

BENJrc''Benjamin Francis Leftwich
BENJrc''Benjamin Francis Leftwich

BENJAMIN Francis Leftwich has come on a long way since he started playing guitar at the age of ten.

Barely into his 20s, the York-born singer-songwriter is wooing critics across the country with Elliot Smith-style acoustic tracks and tales of lost teenage years.

His sound – rich, delicate, breathy and heart-wrenching – is the result of years of exposure to the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.

“Tom Petty’s an amazing lyricist – that’s what I like about him. All songs have their own character. Every song sounds like it’s a classic.”

Leftwich’s work has itself been heralded. His second EP, Pictures, has led to a tour support slot with Noah & The Whale, while BBC Radio One DJ Zane Lowe added the lead track from Pictures on to his Hottest Record In The World list. His album, Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm, has also been the subject of much praise.

But in spite of all the acclaim, the singer songwriter remains somewhat aloof about all the fuss.

“I was really pleased that the EP and album went down well, I didn’t think they would do as well as it did. But ‘I’m not like ‘Oh my God’ – I’m just going to see how it goes.”

And, cool as a cucumber, Leftwich brings his ethereal repertoire to Sheffield on October 1 at the Leadmill, Leadmill Road.