Bennett Wilson Band live in Glasgow review
When the ticket taker comments that “half of England is here” to see Bennett Wilson Band live in Glasgow, you gather that the band has built a following that considers them truly worth following.
In this case, it was the culmination of at least five bands because Bennett Wilson Band is something of a supergroup, spanning:
* Robin Bennett and Joe Bennett‘s time in The Dreaming Spires and Goldrush.
* Danny George Wilson‘s Grand Drive and Danny and The Champions of The World (of which Robin Bennett was an early member, and Joe Bennett is a past and present contributor).
* Supergroup Bennett Wilson Poole, made up of Robin and Danny plus Tony Poole (Starry Eyed and Laughing) with F. Scott Kenny (Spitfire) on drums.
The line-up for Bennett Wilson Band live in Glasgow was Bennett Bennett Wilson Kenny (but *apparently* that name would be a bit of a mouthful). We’ll stick with Bennett Wilson Band then. By our calculations, a supergroup encompassing a supergroup makes them a super-supergroup!
Despite their musical heritage and the traveling contingent in tow, the turnout was a little sparse. This wasn’t helped by the early doors start for the venue to transform into a nightclub later on. We missed the roaring support for every lick and every ‘any questions?’ tic that is de rigueur in London and at the Bennetts’ innumerable Oxfordshire festivals (like with Doctor Who’s Weeping Angels, don’t look away, don’t even blink, or the Bennetts WILL start another festival).
Still, those who made it to the basement venue Room 2 in time to catch Bennett Wilson Band live in Glasgow were eager for the jingle jangle evening to follow. This was a prime opportunity for Bennett and Wilson to play songs from Bennett Wilson Poole’s 2023 album I Saw A Star Behind Your Eyes, Don’t Let It Die Away.
In fact, six of the album’s ten tracks appeared, to much crowd appreciation. In other circumstances, a band would tour right around a record’s release, but there was something satisfying about the performance of ‘new’ songs that fans have been able to live with for a while. It was just as well for the band too, as Wilson noted that “Robin now writes songs with loads and loads of chords in.”
For instance, Waiting For The Wave To Break was imbued with 50s British seaside charm, as if we were about to be handed a 99 and some pennies for the arcade.
There was also plenty of time for favourites from Bennett Wilson Poole’s eponymous debut record. Wilson introduced Wilson’s General Store by explaining that “my dad was a Saturday girl” at his family’s shop in Australia, and that’s where Danny’s parents met as teenagers. When Robin first heard the story he went off and wrote a song about it, taking a little creative license with the name because he couldn’t think of anything to rhyme with ‘Emporium.’ [At which point, Champion of the World Thomas Collison whispered ‘crematorium’ in my ear. He says the sweetest things.]
It turned out that we were lucky to have the show at all as Wilson had only just returned from a much-deserved holiday in Spain. As he put it, “I’ve been eating croquetas and drinking really cheap wine out of a box.” That sounds like a compelling Danny and The Champs concert/dining concept if ever I heard one!
We were guided through the Bennett and Wilson back catalogues in the second third of the show. An interesting selection ranging from Goldrush’s number 64 (thus legitimately a ‘hit’) single Same Picture to Bennett-era Danny and The Champions of The World song Red Tree Song via a handful of other fan favourites.
It was nice to see a nod to the Bennetts’ work with St Etienne in the form of Take The Silver, a co-write between Robin and Sarah Cracknell. Unfortunately (and a little ironically) this was the point where intermittent sound problems descended into crackling, interrupting an otherwise engaging performance.
With a line-up containing several frontmen, it wouldn’t be surprising if there were a few false starts. Any confusion was handled deftly with humour – “If you know the words sing along; I’m talking to the band!” – and changing up the staging and instrumentation. At times we had singer/guitarist Robin on flute, bassist Joe on trumpet, and singer/acoustic guitarist Danny on tiny tambourine, electric guitar and bass. Sadly “Danny on drums” will have to wait until another show.
The final part of the show saw a return to Bennett Wilson Poole songs, including what might be their most popular song because it’s their “biggest video,” Funny Guys. The show ended on a new song, I Wanna Love You (But I Can’t Right Now), detailing a troubled relationship with America following troubling domestic and foreign policy developments.
The show ended with promises to return to Glasgow, which Robin praised as “the home of harmonies.” Watch out Glasgow, if you’re not careful the Bennetts will launch a festival there!
Bennet Wilson Band live in Glasgow video: Same Picture (Goldrush)
Bennet Wilson Band live in Glasgow setlist
- I Saw Love [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- Ask Me Anything [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- Soon Enough [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- Waiting For the Wave To Break [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- Wilson General Store [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- Cry At The Movies [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- Same Picture [Goldrush]
- 5th Letter [Grand Drive]
- Take The Silver [Sarah Cracknell/Robin Bennett]
- Tell It Like It Is [Danny and The Champions of the World]
- The Heart Is The Place [Goldrush]
- Easy Rider [The Dreaming Spires]
- Red Tree Song [Danny and The Champions of the World]
- Funny Guys [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- Not Forgotten [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- I Wanna Love You (But I Can’t Right Now) [Bennett Wilson Poole]
- Ready To Serve [Bennett Wilson Poole]
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