Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Tower Records and gig promoters Smash continue their mission to cure Japan's 'Western music recession' with another surefire bet this month: recent Brit Award winner and singer-songwriter wunderkind Ed Sheeran. Though he's only recently begun to get widespread airplay in Japan, the 21-year-old is already a major star in his native UK, where he built his reputation through online promotion and a relentless tour schedule that saw him play over 300 dates during 2009. But after his bold collaborations with grime MCs on the indie EP No.5 Collaborations Project, Sheeran aimed squarely for the middle of the road on his 2011 major label debut, +, producing a catchy but disappointingly conservative set of songs that conjured memories of Damien Rice and (gulp) David Gray. Recession-busting, maybe, but it would be nice to see this talented youngster take some more risks next time around.

Tickets go on sale on March 10.

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