Preview: John Smith at Islington Assembly Hall

John Smith plays a live show at Islington Assembly Hall this weekend. Picture: Rose Cousins.

John Smith plays a live show at Islington Assembly Hall this weekend. Picture: Rose Cousins. - Credit: Archant

Singer-songwriter John Smith starts an autumnal tour of the UK with a show at Islington Assembly Hall this weekend. Joined by special guests Cara Dillon and Ben Ottewell, this is the first chance for fans to see Smith’s new single – Burden of the Road – played live.

John Smith has a new song out and it's devoted to anyone who works a long way from home and their loved ones.

"For every mile that falls behind me, it's love that pays the toll," he sings on Burden of the Road: a deliciously warm and easy song which brings Smith's soothing voice-and-guitar combination to the fore. The folksinger, who has close to 600,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, began writing his new song in a Los Angeles motel after a "heavy stint on the road."

"The song is not a complaint," he says, "but a meditation and a lament that we can't have everything we need all at once.

"You have to work for the greener grass, wherever you are. I always lived to be on the road, but lately half of me longs to be at home, with my family; that's what this song is about."

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Smith will take his new song - as well as a set-list likely to feature a good contingent from his most recent album, Hummingbird - to crowds around the country starting with this Islington show, with appearances in cities like Bristol, Sheffield, Leeds and Glasgow pencilled in over the next two weeks.

First up, this Saturday, Smith will be joined by two special guests in Cara Dillon and Ben Ottewell.

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"They're people I've toured with a lot," Smith adds. "They'll come up on stage with me, sing some of my songs, and some of theirs. It's going to be a little exploration and celebration of our musical friendship. We're going to approach songs in a different way than before.

"I'm playing the whole thing solo, I won't have my band. It'll be exposed and stripped back, and a chance to hear my songs in a different light. [Playing solo] is a very different experience. I do enjoy playing with a band, but when you are there solo, exposed on the stage, you've got nowhere to turn but to yourself."

John Smith plays Islington Assembly Hall this Saturday (October 19). For more details and tickets, click here.

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