Sunday, 4 April 2010


oops. I found a live review I wrote *MONTHS* ago of Benjamin Shaw, and never published. I'm doing it now. The absolute gent has a 5/5 classic of a record out NOW on Audio Antihero, entitled "I Got the Pox, the Pox is what I Got" - you can buy it for £3.99 HERE. Do.


I had the good fortune of seeing Benjamin Shaw play in a particularly charmless dive that I to have had the misfortune of playing in twice myself, but it didn’t take long for me to forget all about the ‘sports crowd’ and the indulgent support artists, because my man Ben is a rocking machine.

Without the benefit of the synth, percussion and distortion that swamps his recorded works, Benjamin is given the opportunity to shine as both a songwriter and a vocalist. He can tell a story, and he can lose you in metaphor; he can keep things beautifully intimate, or produce something magnificently abstract; and whether it’s the “let’s pop down to the market – to happen on some cake” or the “there’s a fine line between talented and me” that does it – he’s bound to get a smile out of you. Vocally he’s flawless, he keeps his croaks and mumbles, but soars when the time is right and when he screams…you’re liable to lose your wig. He really means it, man.

Two parts tortured artist and one part teddy bear, Benjamin Shaw will both charm and alarm you. Plucking material mostly from his magnificent ‘I got the pox, the pox is what I got’ record, the set is littered with highlights. The fragile falsetto of the ‘thanks for all the biscuits’ climax, the humorous sadism of the EP’s title track (which got more than a few well timed laughs from his audience) and a shrieking and chill inducing rendition of ‘when I fell over in the city’ all stood out in one very special set. Although fans of his record will doubtlessly enjoy seeing him perform (and vice versa), Benjamin Shaw on record and Benjamin Shaw on stage are two very separate and very special beasts (like a Minotaur and an Ewok). Magnificent.


Track Ben down here:




Buy his EP (+ get a free MP3 and stream some videos)