• Words Chris Farlie Photography Andy Webb

Midwinterfest 2018 Day 2 Saturday Afternoon with Ben Smith and Jimmy Brewer

The afternoon slot was to fall to Ben Smith and Jimmy Brewer ( or as they will shortly be rechristened Smith & Brewer), seated purveyors of songs about weather and a whole range of human emotions both good and bad, delivered with twin guitars and perfect harmonies

Starting off with “Isabella” one of their most upbeat songs, and acting as perfect introduction to their sound. Song two immediately took us in to the territory that they do so well, “Another Shade Of Blue” with Jimmy’s almost Spanish sounding guitar solo beautifully delivered. It took until song three to reach the first of their weather related songs “Life’s Too Short” is another of the uptempo songs this time with lead guitar duties seemingly switching between the two to make quite a bravura live performance – for lovers of acoustic guitar playing this was an absolute delight.

The first song they wrote together “Paint The City Blue” was next, a slow song, where once again the harmonies made it into something special capturing the angst of someone left to “Walk the streets alone”. They have a habit of finishing a song and giving each other a knowing nod to confirm that they have delivered the song well. The next song “Better Than Your Father” is a delightful list of hopes that a father has for their child, the key one being “May you live a happy life” which was warmly received.

“A Better Man” was slightly harsh as it acknowledged a mans fault as the full title should be (I always thought you deserved) “A Better Man” There is hope within though as the singer does say he’ll try to be a better man”. It was a case of new year new song, one shortly to be recorded on electric guitars for their new EP. “Favourite Photograph” was delightfully upbeat in both tune and lyrical content one of the stand out songs of the set.

The title for “Lovely Day For Doing Nothing” came from Ben’s son and apparently was inappropriately used at a wedding. It’s a great song that gradually reveals the descent of a newly single man, complete with a suitably downbeat bluesy guitar solo. Apparently to be used in a dutch horror film!

There were tales of woe with forgotten Cd’s and left behind mailing lists that led into an awesomely delivered “Tell You Anyway” with it’s cutting line “I've missed you less and less each day”. “Julietta” was another uptempo song, continuing their run of songs with 4 syllable girls names with Jimmy once again throwing in a virtuoso guitar solo during an extended instrumental section - the pair showing sheer joy at their playing.

“Don’t Say You Don’t Love Me” closed out their main set, an uptempo rocker with a nod back to the days of Sonny Curtis and Buddy Holly . A standing ovation followed and an encore with “Hold On” another uptempo song providing a final chance to display those outrageous guitar skills. With 2 albums on the way in 2018 keep an eye out for this pair.


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