David Thomas Broughton, photo by Greg Butler
David Thomas Broughton, photo by Greg Butler

David Thomas Broughton – folk singer/avant-garde performer and man with a guitar, a loop pedal and a seemingly longstanding desire to be punched in the face by a member of the audience – will be coming to the Printworks this November as part of an international tour.

Broughton has a loyal tribe of supporters and counts artist and illustrator David Shrigley as a fan. Described as writing ‘beautiful songs which he then tries to subvert’, he creates shows that are part gig and part performance art. As a friend and colleague comments, ‘It’s like there’s one guy who wants to play his music and another who wants to disrupt that process as much as possible and they’re both the same person’. This results in quite a tense relationship with the audience as he pushes them – and often they push back. He has been known to duet with a rape alarm and has, in the past, incorporated aggressive heckles, into the music, thanks to the loop pedal.

The extent to which his on-stage persona and off-stage self overlap is a mystery to many, but the softly spoken Yorkshire man with an interest in kingfishers and a general love of the natural world also seems to have some sort of relationship with rage. And those who advise that he could have a pretty good music career, if only he focused on the songs themselves, seem to miss the point: he is an artist who takes things in his own direction because there is just no alternative.

While I can’t tell you what to expect from this performance, I can tell you that it will be whatever Broughton wants it to be – that and nothing else.

Saturday 18 November 2017, The Printworks, 7.30pm, support from Otti Albeitz and Howie Reeve. Tickets £5 plus 50p booking fee from We Got Tickets: www.wegottickets.com/event/416911