Benny Sings + Strawberry Guy @ The Garage, London, UK – 30th October 2019

Review and photography by Robert Barrett

Back in April I was lucky enough to catch Benny Sings at his sold-out show at the Moth Club. It was a fantastic, sprit lifting gig, and from them on I couldn’t get enough of his music. So when I saw the announcement of a return gig at The Garage, I knew it would be the place to be on Halloween Eve.

Strawberry Guy

Although due to train issues I turned up later than expected, I was still able to catch the last half of support act Strawberry Guy. His piano led dreampop sounded like someone had fed Beatles melodies through a Mac Demarco filter. It was blissful, and sounded like the perfect woozy soundtrack to a summer’s day.

With the big Benny Sings lightboxes ablaze, the band took to the stage. The set list started near identical to the earlier gig at the Moth Club, kicking off with ‘Big Brown Eyes’. Benny’s infectious brand of 70’s singer-songwriter pop was played like a well-oiled machine by his extraordinary backing band. A joyous trumpet solo on single ‘Not Enough’ got one of the biggest receptions of the night.

About half way through the set Benny took to the mic to thank everyone for the support, and how tonight was a special gig as it was near the end of the ‘City Pop’ album tour. He then treated us to a rare live rendition of ‘So Far So Good’ complete with additional violins. Another surprise came in the premiere of a new track, appropriately titled ‘Music’. Benny looked nervous going into it, but he really shouldn’t have been with a song this good. The first minute in I was almost knocked over by people dancing, that’s what I would call a successful premiere!

A bouncy ‘Shoebox Money’ ended the set. However, it was only 30 seconds before they were back on stage for a rendition of ‘Late at Night’ which rounded off the encore in rapturous applause. If the Moth Club was a warmup, then tonight was Benny dividing and conquering. If the rest of his new material is as strong as ‘Music’, who knows where we might be catching him next.

(The original version of this article was first published on Gigjunkies

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