BEN HEMMING The Devil Beside Me [Release date 31.05.19]
‘Nu-blues’ man Ben Hemming opens his latest release with the impressively broody/ doomy Dead Man Blues which reminds me (strangely) of PJ Harvey circa Bring Your Love To Me. It’s a powerful statement.
And with just the help of James Hosking (bass) and Luigi Rampino (drums) his third album The Devil Beside Me is a brutal slab of soul searching recorded at The Blues Studios in London’s Hackney with producer Mark Waterman (Depeche Mode, Elastica) behind the desk.
It may, or may be not, a coincidence but there’s unmistakeable tones of Gahan to Hemming’s vocals and with some of his previous work having been recorded at Jack White’s Third Man Recording Booth, the London based singer/songwriter could easily be the pair’s bastard offspring (if that were physically possible).
Uncompromisingly dense, The Devil Beside Me is no easy ride “my mother knew, the day she had me, a darker day she would never see” (‘The Sea’) but it’s easy to see Hemming building a cult following. Taking it to the masses may prove more challenging. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
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