Ed Sheeran by Annie Leibovitz.
He describes himself in a new Disney+ documentary as ‘speccy, ginger hair, really short, English, from the countryside, who stutters and beatboxes’. Maybe. But he’s also Ed Sheeran, and he’s again making paeans to his native Suffolk on latest album Subtract.
Record sales in excess of 150 million copies, multiple Grammy and Brit awards, the highest-grossing tour of all time, collaborations with, amongst others, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Stormzy and Justin Beiber, but his home county is where the heart is for the 32-year-old star.
In fact, has anyone done more than the famous singer-songwriter with his worldwide fan base to help put Suffolk on the map.
It’s been his inspiration, with landscapes and locations from Suffolk featuring large in his work, not least ‘Castle on the Hill’, his ‘love letter to Suffolk’, which recounted his teenage years in Framlingham, home of the iconic English Heritage 12th century fortification.
And Ed’s gone all out to inspire visitors to Suffolk with his latest album, Subtract, which will have 14 accompanying concept music videos all filmed in his home county. In fact, he’s done a behind the scenes film of Subtract: The Visual Album. As Ed says, ‘Suffolk… come on!’
Here’s some of the videos from the album…
Southwold Pier – Borderline and Colourblind
The sombre, monochrome video for Borderline features Southwold Pier. Just imagine what it’s like on a bright, sunny day with the amusements, attractions and refreshment kiosks all in flow. It’s the pier-fect place to take the family and enjoy more than 600 feet of British seaside fun.
Oh, and you can’t miss Tim Hunkin’s marvellous and extremely eccentric Under The Pier Show.
While you’re in Southwold, why not take a distillery or brewery tour with Adnams… or head up the famous lighthouse, with a pint of Adnams at the bottom.
ColourBlind was also filmed on Southwold Pier… in fact, just out of sight is Southwold Pier again.
Pin Mill – Life Goes On
Filmed in the quiet woods and heathland at Pin Mill, Chelmondiston, on the Shotley Peninsula by the Orwell Estuary.
Walk in Ed’s footsteps by taking a country walk and then popping into The Butt & Oyster for refreshments.
North Denes Lowestoft Beach – Boat and Salt Water
Filmed close to the groynes and dunes near the Gunton Warren Nature Reserve, the rugged coastline here suits the melancholic mood of the songs. There’s a useful car park here and you can pop into The Sparrows Nest Café for a bite to eat.
Woodbridge – End of Youth
The video for End of Youth was filmed at a school in Woodbridge and sees Ed singing in the playground, while a group of kids ran around him playing.
Riverside Woodbridge is a picture perfect market town with main Thoroughfare of local independent and artisan shops, restaurants and cafes, mixed in with High Street names. The Crown in the Thoroughfare is the place to have a meal or just a drink.
On the river Deben is the picturesque Tide Mill Museum and not far from the town is National Trust Anglo-Saxon burial site Sutton Hoo, focus of the hit Netflix movie The Dig starring Ralph Fiennes and Carrey Mulligan. Also nearby is the family-friendly Easton Farm Park.
A great place to stay near Woodbridge is the Run Cottage Touring Park.
The Sum Of It All documentary
The new four-part Disney+ documentary The Sum Of It All also features Suffolk, not least an impromptu gig he performed in Ipswich in October 2022 on the footsteps of the town hall on the Cornhill.
Ed also talks about meeting his wife Cherry Seaborn at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, seeing an Elton John concert at Portman Road stadium with his father John in June, 2004, and there are scenes of Ed and Cherry at The King’s Head pub, Laxfield, also known as The Low House, as well as in his own pub The Lancaster Lock at his Suffolk home.
And as well as another new hit album to his name, Ed’s got something else to celebrate – his beloved Ipswich Town Football Club have been promoted back to the Championship!