I stepped in at the last minute to cover for someone else who was booked to review Benjamin Folke Thomas tonight. I wasn’t expecting to be out that evening but you know what they say; it’s always the spontaneous nights that turn out to be best and the most memorable.
I know Loves Cafe very well, either myself or one of my immediate family are usually in there at least once a week and my kids tend to think of it as a front-room-from-home. It had an especially warm and homely feel about it that night and I was greeted by and chatted with familiar faces as I walked in, so much so that my traverse from the door to the bar took about 20 minutes. I grabbed a drink and headed upstairs to a comfy sofa and waited for the support act to start. I’m not sure why but I wasn’t really expecting a support act, but I was pleasantly surprised by Broken Wheels who, with their rather excellent country inspired sound and original pieces set the tone very nicely for the evening ahead. I took the opportunity at the break to replenish my drink and wait for the main act.
Then Ben took the stage on his own, very simply a guitar and voice; wavy blonde hair under his cap betraying Scandinavian roots before he approached the mic to speak. His set consisted of a great mix of covers and original material, all with a solid folk / country / blues / roots feel for which his voice was perfectly matched. He played for well over an hour and was constantly detuning and retuning between songs, making great use of his instrument and was happily engaging the audience in chat before introducing the next piece. He wasn’t afraid of a bit of audience participation and encouraged everyone to join him in the chorus of a song inspired by a text message from what I assume is now an ex-girlfriend!
I really enjoyed hearing Ben play and that it was a completely unexpected night out made it all the more special. I’d really encourage you to seek him out. Further proof that in Loves Cafe we have something really special; a cafe / restaurant / music venue / local hub that is bringing some wonderful music and events to the town that may otherwise never happen.
Review by David Blake