Ben Marwood has a new album out, and I love it – Here’s why.
It’s not because he comes from my family home town of Reading, or that we met through a mutual appreciation of the band Jetplane Landing, or that we took that “meet someone off the internet” risk, which panned out nicely, rather than a bloody and viscous death rape.
No, I love Ben, because from the first instant I heard his music, I believed in it.
Listening back to the first EP I heard, his second “Give Up“, I’m still struck that this songwriter, appears to be writing songs straight from my own heart. I literally felt like, YES! I’ve Felt Like THAT, or I Believe That! (and listening back now, and comparing with the new album, his voice has improved too)
His honesty, not only in his music, but when we spoke about stuff was always genuine, it was like meeting a musical kindred spirit.
It was exactly all that, that led me to invite Ben to perform on a bill with Small Town America‘s (STA) indie-Scot’s Fickle Public in Devizes. STA are a label run by the previously mentioned Jetplane Landing.
I loved how even in his early stages still, Ben had a dedicated fan base, who would travel long distances to watch him – one such fan, Jacqui Sadler, actually filmed his performance and gave me a copy. These days were my formative promotion days too, at only my 4th or 5th gig, I was already meeting all kinds of good and honest person, the kind of people that help foster and inspire my love for putting on live music.
To this end, I grabbed the first chance I could, to give Ben a significant support slot – Opening for personal favourite musician, Frank Turner. Frank was similar to me in a sense that I related to, or was inspired by his style, his words and his whole genuine approach.
Ben and Frank hit it off right away. A few more supports for me down the line, and they are firm friends. Frank actually wrote a song called PASS IT ALONG, in which he name checks Ben and states “Here’s to the ones, who have to take the stage,and sing the truth”. Frank clearly saw what I saw, and had a much better way of expressing it. I can only express it, by my love for that song and Ben’s own music.
Other people saw it too, and Ben has since got the title of nicest man in music, a thoroughly deserved one. The only reason Mr Grohl has the edge, is because his fans haven’t met Ben.
Fast forward a few years, and Ben’s on his 2nd full length. He’s played some amazing shows, toured some fantastic tours and seen some incredible sights. He’s been able to release music he believed in, bringing Barry Dolan AKA Oxygen Thief and Jim Lockey to my attention. Two further acts I’ve since fell in love with and given shows to.
His new album BACK DOWN, for me is some of his best and most important music, the culmination of nearly 9 years work – which has seen Ben perform over a dozen times for me in Devizes alone.
I don’t need to waste too much time telling you it’s an album really worth checking out. The sleeve notes did that within 30 seconds, stating that he canned the first batch of songs. Literally nothing short of brilliance made it through.
It comes in under 40 minutes too, another sure fire sign of quality. It flies past and you instantly hit play again. It has comedic moments and some dark bits, chucking in some glockenspiel and pedal steel guitar for giggles too. It’s the sound of someone having fun and making music, and frankly, It Rocks.
10/10. Sheer Music.
Here’s a nostalgic video of my first Lamb shows (The room has changed A LOT since!)