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Music Editorial

johnsmith18.jpg I’ll have a pint of this bloke

Hey! It’s John Smith! Not a name that you’re liable to forget in a hurry, especially when you let his warm, acoustic pop into your life. He’s coming to Durham in early February.

I wonder if John Smith books into hotel rooms when he’s on tour as “John Smith”. I can imagine staff thinking, “Yeah, right. We better watch this bloke doesn’t walk out with the Corby trouser press”. No matter, this Devon fella has won plenty of fans over a series of four albums, the most accomplished being 2017’s very excellent Headlong, in which he displays his rather magnificent beard on the sleeve, and his undoubted songwriting nous on the grooves. Whether he’s finger-picking, or using a bit of slide, he knows how to write memorable tunes which are perfectly complimented by his voice which is one part blue collar grit, and one part honey. He’s been praised to the high heavens by Ben Howard (“He’s a magician”) and fans of Ben, and James Yorkston and David Gray etc, are sure to find plenty of love for John Smith, too.

John Smith, Sunday 4 February, Gala Theatre, Durham, 7.30pm, £15. galadurham.co.uk