Ed Sheeran showcases Snape Maltings as he performs for BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend
A performance by Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran has flowed across the airwaves today as part of BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend of Live Music 2021.
Recorded at Snape Maltings Concert Hall but played on the radio at 2pm today, the Framlingham-based singer sang some of his greatest hits for just under an hour for the event which will include 100 live performances across the country over the bank holiday.
Other full Big Weekend sets - which will also include Coldplay, Jorja Smith, AJ Tracey, Anne-Marie, Celeste, London Grammar, Mabel, Royal Blood and Wolf Alice, which will be available on BBC Sounds.
But Sheeran started the 'watchalong' event, which could also be watched on the BBC iPlayer, with Castle on the Hill, before talking about the next track - The A Team.
He said: "So this song is now ten years old, which is very weird to think, and it came out beginning of June 2011.
"A lot has changed since then, I think I first played it on the BBC on Jools Holland. Happy birthday it."
With a flawless performance of the track, Jordan North spoke to the superstar and asked him how it felt to be back.
Sheeran said: "It has been a very very long time, it feels good. I was saying earlier my first single was meant to be ready before now and I was meant to be playing it a one big weekend so it does feel weird starting with Castle on the Hill instead of the new tune but its great.
"I am using a band for the first time and it feels like the next stage."
The next question was about what he had been doing over the last couple of years, to which Sheeran said he had been making a lot of songs, becoming a dad which he said was a 'seismic change in my life', painting and being healthier with exercise and cutting out his bad habits.
Explaining why he was playing at Snape Maltings to the Radio 1 listeners, he said: "Radio 1 contacted me and said chose somewhere in Suffolk you'd like to play and I gave them Snape Maltings and my old school hall.
"But I don't think the cameras would have fitted in the hall, that is where I did my first gig, but this is a beautiful setting."
Back to the music, Sheeran then went straight into Galway Girl before playing a song which he finished in March after attending the funeral of his friend, Australian entrepreneur and leading figure in the country's music industry Michael Gudinski, called Visiting Hours.
After the touching performance the hits continued as Sheeran, who was clearly enjoying the music, played Sing, Bloodstream and Thinking Out Loud.
Asked about his next album in another interview piece, he said: "It is kind of like an amalgamation of all the records and the first single of it is really different, like really really different.
"Every time I have released a first single from an album, apart from Plus because it was A Team because that was already off and rolling, every time I have released a first single from an album I have been nervous about it because I don't know how this is going to go but I like that feeling."
Asked about sponsoring the home and away kits for his beloved Ipswich Town Football Club, Sheeran explained it all kicked off for him when he was asked to sponsor Framlingham Town's Under 11 girl's team before he asked the Portman Road club if he could do it for them for next season.
Returning to the stage, Sheeran played I See Fire, a track commissioned in 2013 for the film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 2015's Christmas chart topper Perfect, Shape of You, before completing the incredible set off with Afterglow.
The full set can be listened to on BBC Sounds and watched on the BBC iPlayer.