Mr. Ben & The Bens


Tonight Gulliver’s has been taken over by Lancastrian label, Bingo Records for their first year anniversary, a birthday bash! The record label consists of a menagerie of interwoven bands, with label mates performing under a number of different guises and playing multiple instruments. The room is filled with affiliates, friends, family (a lovely shout out to Mr Ben’s mum is made halfway through the set) and a host of fans. It all brings a welcoming warmth to the evening, a friendly atmosphere that is cherished as we begin to drift through to the colder and drizzlier Autumn months.

Mr Ben and The Bens come on stage dressed in their best party wear, a mix of Happy Days beige sweaters and bad-boy shades. Their personas glow throughout the set. Ben Hall, AKA Mr Ben, knows how to hair flick well enough to outshine any of the latest Lauriel adverts. Bandmates coolly gaze at the crowd, throwing out the odd School of Rock leg kick when we get to the bounciest sections of tracks such as ‘The Bluest of Blues’. They’re exuberant in their delight in playing and it is totally infectious. Their set is a non-stop ride of catchy hooks and joy.

‘The Museum’ is mellow and soothing. A trip through a meadow on a hazy summer day kind of a tune, the trumpets embracing you as you sway. ‘Fall In Love Again’ is more upbeat, but keeps all the sweetness intact. Every song brings a smile, and an odd sense of nostalgia. Their brand of folk-pop is a mix of cosy and cheerful. For how brilliant the band are, the venue isn’t as packed out as it deserves to be, but this leaves room to move during uplifting tracks like ‘How We Used To Write.’

A shout out is made by Mr Ben to Kieran, the sound engineer at Gulliver’s tonight, and it is well deserved. He is holding everything together like the best bit of a birthday sponge, the jam and cream. It has to be one of the best sounding shows I have heard in a long time, the bass is crisp and clear, the words to each song are clearly distinguishable and the trumpet reverberates with a regal air.

It is quite a short set from Mr Ben and the Bens, but it has been jam packed with fun. They are ones to watch and I will be looking forward to birthday bash number 2.

Mr. Ben & The Bens: Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter