I am at the BBC club on Great Portland Street to take in a live performance by American folk singer Benny Marchant. I have been lucky enough to have interviewed and experienced an exclusive performance in the past, so I was relatively certain I knew what to expect from the gig I was attending this night.
I have to say, however, I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure if it’s because he and his band were playing to a crowd, or in a club, or if it’s down to their recent stint of tours in the UK, but the overall sound and feel of their music seemed effortlessly tight and polished but without losing any of its warmth or charm.
Benny had a certain Newton Faulkner quality to his sound, but unlike Newton Faulkner did not look like he needed a scrub. In terms of the bands visual style, Benny and co were dressed very down to earth in dark neutral colours. Somehow Benny actually looks American.
My personal favourite track of the night was Back to Life which has all the makings of a classic love song. The set in general was very enjoyable and ultimately comfortable. Benny’s music is the type of album that would serve you well on a road trip which would keep you in good spirits and certainly after a few listens would have you singing along to. It is music that is clearly influenced by real life and has a classic American essence which made listening to even his brand new tracks feel like you had slipped on a classic CD.
Check out my interview with Benny, including a performance of Back to Life below.