Live music returns to Eastwood as rising star launches debut album
A promising young musician launched his first ever album as the sweet sound of live music returned to Eastwood this week.
Singer-songwriter Ben Mark Smith took to the stage at The Dog and Parrot on Monday night (July 26) to play songs from his debut album Drinking Games.
The event was the first time many local people had heard live music since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding extra excitement and warmth to the atmosphere.
In the run up to Ben’s set, crowds were entertained by supporting musicians Spud, Tash Bird and King of Rome – the latter playing together again as a band for the first time in 18 months.
Ben then impressed his fans of all ages with songs from the new album, including ‘Live, Laugh, Love’, ‘Old Irish Band’ and a musical tribute to his favourite pub – ‘Dog and Parrot’.
Ben, who is 29, said: “The lyrics in the song are ‘a stranger is a friend you’ve yet to meet at the Dog and Parrot’, and that’s so true.
"It is such an incredible pub.”
Ben is an up-and-coming musician who has grown a large following across Nottinghamshire.
The rising star took part in the Future Sound of Nottingham competition this year and has also had a song played on BBC Introducing.
Drinking Games is his first full album, which he was proud to launch with the help of friends, family and the Eastwood community.
He said: “Thank you everyone of you that came down and made it a packed out gig… you were all fantastic.
“A huge thanks to the Dog and Parrot for hosting the launch.
"It was a night I won’t forget in a hurry.”
Ben is also organising Eastwood’s DH Lawrence Music Festival this year and promises that the event will be the best one yet, with more than 100 acts set to perform across the town for one day only on September 11.
Artists including Kaleido, Emma Buckley and Left Hand Lane will bring the noise at around a dozen venues including the Dog and Parrot, Oliver’s, the Three Tuns and the Old Wine Vaults.
Visit the DH Lawrence Music Festival page on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest plans.
You can also listen to Ben Mark Smith’s debut album Drinking Games on Spotify or by visiting his website here.