Ben Miles – Live at Rockingham Gate

Chesterfield blues maestro Ben Miles has only gone and put a stonker of an album together. Sian Hodkin tells you why you need to have it in and around your ears sooner rather than later.


If it’s bluesy rock and roll that you want; you should be all over Ben Miles. His album Live at Rockingham Gate covers all sorts of topics in the most diverse and unique style I’ve heard for a long time. Heartbreak, rage and, erm, pretty boys in bands.


Why Can’t We Be Friends begins pretty calmly and details the age old story that we’ve all been through; trying to stay friends with an ex-lover. “Sometimes I think the least I could do is to take my fists and leave you battered and bruised” gives the impression of an obviously passionate yet turbulent relationship. Miles tackles this subject with such honesty and simplicity it’s hard not to love.


Only Pretty Boys Make Rock and Roll is a brilliant homage to the superficial nature of music at the moment; those who spend more time on their hair and just hope the music works out for them. Miles creates an electricity in his songs and this track is the perfect example of this. His vocals are a great fit to and they just scream (literally) rock and roll.


What’s great about Ben is that the album constantly changes tempo and style. From an upbeat and high speed track comes For Irene – a relaxed and absolutely gorgeous serenade. It’s rare lately to get such a personal and sincere song but, as I said before, that’s what Ben is all about.


I Could Do Worse is one of my favourites; the album is the epitome of everything rock and roll and blues; it has tons of energy yet such sombre and dark lyrics.


Ben Miles has really crafted his songs to make them his own. This album is brilliant, if you’re on the hunt for something original, it’s a breath of fresh air. He’s cool, he’s sophisticated, and he’s created one hell of a record. 


Sian Hodkin


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