Review: Ben Weaver + Jane Bartholomew

Yesterday I went to see Ben Weaver and Jane Bartholomew play at The Luminaire. The Luminaire is probably my favourite venue. The lighting and decor is nice, the hand stamp people are always cheery and the sound is good. I got there 5 minutes early so bought an apple and read about some of the past acts they’ve had since they opened in 2005. The list included some musicians I would have loved to have seen there: Tilly and the Wall, Andrew Bird and quite a few more which seemed to have escaped my memory.

Jane Bartholomew came on around 8.20. She’s a singer from Brighton, she’s got a really beautiful voice. She was joined by a cellist and a violinist. She did a few songs on guitar but I actually enjoyed the piano ones more, although they were all great. I would definately recommend seeing her live if you can. In the break I talked with Stephen about how the recession will effect the live music industry and shows like this one.

Ben Weaver was next. He took to the stage alone and played a guitar song first. He told us he had jet lag and there were “10 trapeze artists on his stomach“. I didn’t know his material but I really enjoyed each of his songs. His lyrics are really poetic and beautiful, so it made sense that he is also a poet. He read us a few poems from his poetry book. One was about Freegans and how the only point in chain stores like Starbucks and McDonalds is so you can use their bathrooms. It was witty and endearing, I considered buying his poetry book after but it was £10 and I don’t have that much money spare. He switched to banjo for a while and then did a couple of piano songs. I somehow ended up sitting cross legged on the stage while everyone else was on the floor. Jane came back and joined him singing on a few songs. He went away and after some cries for more he returned. He was very humble and said he enjoyed not having a setlist. He played Ragged Words, which is the name of one of my friends’ website. He did a couple more, thanked us for coming and left the stage. There were more shouts for more but this time the radio kicked in. 

It was a great show and it’s worth seeing Ben play if you can. He’s doing an instore gig at Rough Trade tonight and I highly recommend going if you can make it. I’d love to go but I’ll be on my way to Brixton. I’d recommend his music if you like artists like David Dondero, folky story telling and enchanting lyrics.

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3 Responses to Review: Ben Weaver + Jane Bartholomew

  1. Skopje January 15, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Ben weaver was quite interesting to watch. He really drew me in. I have astrange allergy to people who strum, but the storytelling was so compelling. I liked his last 4 encore songs best, melodically and chordially they were great


  2. Padraic January 15, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Grrrr, I’m destined never to see Ragged Words played live. Think it’d probably be too much for me though…


  1. Ben Weaver live at Rough Trade East » crazybobbles - January 14, 2009

    [...] acoustic guitar but I only caught one song with that). He previous performed at the Luminaire which Anika attended and wrote a review for and it was nice seeing him play a few tunes at the Rough Trade. At one point he joked around [...]

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