Newcastle Music Directory

Benjalu EP Launch

Emerging Newcastle roots rock band, Benjalu have received great recognition in their short musical career, in fact the attention they’ve garnered thus far has been way above their expectations. It’s been 18 months since the release of ‘Reflecting On’ their highly acclaimed debut EP and now it’s time for the band to reveal new tunes with friends and fans when they release their follow up EP ‘Waterwalls’ at The Brewery on Friday May 29 with special guests The Nickson Wing.

BenjaluDespite having only been together as a band since March 2006, these local lads from Dudley have impressed music aficionados across Australia with their distinct fusion of folk, blues, jazz and contemporary rock. They’ve bagged a few awards along the way with their original music and atmospheric live shows. Music industry execs and peers gave the band a good nod on their first outing in 2006 when they were named one of the top 10 School bands within Australia by MUSIC OZ at the annual YouthRock awards; they also took out the prestigious TAFE Newcastle Music Week award for the Open School Section. Benjalu’s radio-friendly tracks were given airplay by local station NEWFM and the band were further honoured at YouthRock awards, when they were given an additional award by fellow Novocastrians Silverchair, recognising their strong and original song-writing talents.

Benjalu have spent the past year touring solidly, performing over 100 shows as they clicked over the kilometres up and down the east coast highways. They finally found time to record the new EP over three wet days in March. Original plans were for recordings to take place at Ian Pritchett’s Noisegate studios in Sydney, however due to a termite infestation, the sessions were relocated to Noisegates makeshift studio: two houses in Sydney suburbia. Lead singer Ben Gumbleton explains, “Garages and lounge rooms were converted to drum rooms and vocal booths, the kitchen and bathroom used for percussion and amps. It was just like jamming at home and we were after a raw, more open sound so I guess the circumstances involving the unfortunate termite infestation kind of helped create the sound we were after.”

Benjalu‘Waterwalls’ features eight tracks with drums and bass recorded live, giving the CD a more flowing feel. The tracks vary from funky rock to folk and roots, showcasing both new tracks and songs that have been popular at the band’s live shows. The title track ‘Waterwalls’ presents catchy guitar licks, a thumping rhythm section and an expressive vocal delivery, perfectly relating to the lyrics, which relay the build up of strong emotions and their effect on life. Another of the CDs stand outs, ‘So High’, features funky guitar, a catchy chorus and a rockin’ jam out of clarinet and guitars. Other highlights include the CDs’ opener ‘The Lie’, ‘Grey Old Man’ and Benjalu’s oldest song, ‘Java’, which was recorded outside at night, capturing nature at its best. ‘Waterwalls’ was produced by Ian Pritchett and sees release on May 29 when the band take to the stage at The Brewery.

Benjalu have shared stages with music luminaries such as The Beautiful Girls, The Sleepy Jackson, and Josh Pyke, Kate Miller-Heidke, Jon Stevens, James Reyne, Dann Hume (Evermore), Rogerthat and Paul Greene. 2009 is set to be a big year for the band when they will set off around Australia to spread their wings fair and wide.

For now though, they’re looking very forward to sharing their new music with a home crowd at The Brewery on Friday May 29 with local Newcastle band The Nickson Wing.

Benjalu will also be performing at the grand opening of Live ‘n’ Cookin’ Lizottes Newcastle at the old Kings Theatre Restaurant site, Moorehead St Lambton on Tuesday 2nd June 2009 supporting Deni Hines, Diesel, Beccy Cole and Jason Lowe.

Friday May 29 – Benjalu ‘Waterwalls’ EP launch with special guests The Nickson Wing – 10pm upstairs at The Brewery – free entry

Posted on May 7th, 2009 in Events

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