Ben Weaver - Twyford - 4 February 2011

Concert review by Aline Giordano

Ben Weaver4th February is Ben Weaver’s birthday and he decided to spend it among acquaintances in the home village of SXSC’s Oliver Gray in the middle of Hampshire (UK), with Oliver himself and a handful of chosen guests. It had been billed as a secret show; one that was only advertised among friends. And as such we ended up about twenty-five guests in Oliver’s garden shed – twenty-five being the capacity of the shed - not the number of friends Oliver has, I hasten to add! There was no stage, no microphone and no amplifier. As Ben Weaver, himself, remarked, it felt as if he was presenting in front of a class… and what a presentation it was! Ben has an extraordinary voice. Often compared with Tom Waits’ voice, it was in fact the contained delivery ‘à la’ Leonard Cohen, (go and check out ‘East Jefferson’), which first attracted me to Ben’s voice.

Either playing his Gibson acoustic guitar or a banjo, Ben delivered most of the songs from his latest album ‘Mirepoix and Smoke’ to a respectful and appreciative audience. The distant sound of the propellers of the occasional Dash 8 plane flying over our heads could be heard in the background. It felt very special. It was a very special moment. It reminded me that the world was still spinning around, doing what it does best, at its fast and furious, but remorseless, pace. And, we, the lucky few, were in the company of American singer song-writer Ben Weaver, presenting to us his gentle and delightful melodies, quirky poetry, and singular way of seeing the world we live in.

To see more photos, visit… Aline Giordano's website

For more details, visit… Ben Weaver's website

Photograph © Aline Giordano 2011