Scene and Heard

NEWBENSON

Focus on Benson

We’ve tempted you with snippets about Benson for a while now but never really featured them as a full article.
Having watched live music in Leeds for more years than I care to remember I’m struggling to think of a better live band in the last thirty years. High praise indeed but thoroughly deserved.
Joe Sefton and Dan Sharp came out of punk band Guns on the Roof wondering what to do next. They’d taken the punk thing as far as they could and were looking to do something different.
“Its not like it’s our band or anything,” Joe was at pains to point out, “we came up with a soul – ska crossover idea but as the other lads came  on board, collectivley the sound developed into  a ‘Brassed up Indie Rock N’ Soul.
Richard joined us on drums from NRT, we’d known Tom as a great bass player for a while, we couldn’t believe it when Stash who was in  the Dead Pets came on board. Someone pointed Jordan in our direction and we were blown away at his vocals and stage presence from the first meeting.”
Benson truly are a must see live band, if you see them for the first time you’ll think you’ve heard them before, not because they’re unoriginal but because of the energy, the anthem like choruses and catchy tunes and riffs. Yes you could argue they’ve raided their Mum and Dad’s record collections but the end result  is something unique and something that spans all age groups.
“We’ve only been together eighteen months, we’re still doing the local scene but also trying to push out and play bigger gigs.” explained Dan. “We’ve recently supported The Beat and Space which have also opened us to slightly different audiences.”
They’ve had some air play on Radio Aire as a result of making the final five in a competition to get on at this years Party in the Park and have produced a demo for BBC Introducing which also included a live interview.
“The Radio Aire thing was a good experience and I think we raised  about four thousand pounds for charity, we did loads of gigs and even did a naked photoshoot for a calender (still some available, have a look on www.thisisbenson.com) but ultimately, it seemed it wasn’t really about the music, it was about how much money was raised.”
But it’s not all been plain sailing. A first show- piece gig in London was cancelled when they filled their van up with petrol instead of diesel.
“That was a bit embarrasing but such is life, we ended up getting rat-ar**d that night, we had to laugh about it otherwise we’d have cried.”
And that’s another thing about Benson, coupled with the high energy, from the minute they come on stage like cheeky young scamps to Toots & the Maytals Monkey Man it’s obvious the lads are enjoying it – and it’s infectious.   On the weekend of 10th August they’re on the United Colours of Music Festival at the Don Valley Bowl, sharing the bill with UB40, the Beat, Neville Staples Specials and the legendary Skatelites.  They’re also on at Clarence Park Festival after going down a storm last year. After that a tour of Holland and North Germany is currently in the planning stage.
They’ve recently jazzed up their web site – www.thisisbenson.com and hope to keep adding to it as the gigs come thick and fast.
So a busy summer lined up for a band that have the talent, energy and presence to hit the big time.. they’ve just got to learn which pump to use in the petrol station.

Benson buck the trend and have produced a timeless disc of energy that must surely not only get feet tapping, but bodies bouncing! This is ‘good-time’ music alright! Tell me you don’t like this… and you just ain’t got no soul, man! 10/10″ – Loud Horizon

LIVE AT THE WYKEBECK
Saturday 1st June
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