Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions
- Arrive from 6pm
- Music from 7:30pm
- Venue closes at 9:45pm
- Please wear a mask at all times except when eating; Social distance & sanitise your hands regularly
Tickets R120 (Excludes dinner)
Ben Dey is a South African singer-songwriter and, along with his band The Concrete Lions, has been active in the South African music scene since 2014.
In 2016, the group gained recognition from the success of their single ‘Easy Love’ on radio. An electric live act to watch, Ben Dey and the Concrete Lions became a regular feature at South African festivals and music venues.
“Ben Dey and the Concrete Lions have the rare ability to produce music that feels tight, well-rehearsed but somehow also seems improvised and organic. Dichotomies such as these make the band so interesting. Soulful, African and organic are just some of the words used to describe their unique rock sound that saw them shoot to the top of local radio charts last year”. (“Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions - MTN 0Bushfire Festival 2017: MTN Bushire Festival 2017". Bush-fire.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 30 May 2017.)
“BDCL are an enigma. There is not much said during a performance but from the moment they step on stage it becomes clear BDCL are here to deliver. Watching a BDCL sound check it’s like watching a finely tuned space crew, prepare for lift off. BDCL deliver their powerful lyrical ballads against a rich tapestry of complementary sound. Every note is delivered so it feels fresh and new. The afro- pop fusion is easy on the ears and it never gets old heading such a mighty voice emanating from such a slight framed creature as Ben Dey. Their music conveys uncommon depth of feeling that perfects a message that is at times mournful but always uplifting. Their songs touch on a multitude of social issues, ranging from environmental awareness to equality.” (Introducing Ben Dey And The Concrete Lions. Texx and the City. N.p, 2017. Web. 30 May 2017.)
BDCL have performed abroad in England, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. In 2017, the band released ‘Rise’ - laterheralded by esteemed music critics Texx and the City as one of the best EPs released in South Africa for the year.
“This five-track debut EP tackles socialism and environmentalism at its core, while fleshing out the hard-hitting themes with synth underpinnings and heady drums-lines which pivot their acoustic tendencies into wonderfully dance-off territory”. (Top 20 Albums & EPs Of 2017 – Texx and the City)
After Rise, BDCL took a hiatus from creating music to focus on their live set. During this period, the group toured with South African rock legends The Parlatones, was the support act for international artist Callum Scott and performed `for a second time at both Rocking the Daisies and Splashyfen music festivals. In 2019, the group worked alongside Durban-based videographer Richard Gorvan to produce a stirring music video for ‘Pillar’. In 2020, BDCL released ‘Matter of Time’. The song was added to the second volume of ‘Rocktober (The Best South African Rock Hits of All Time)’. Later that year, Ben started work on a solo project and released two folk songs ‘Somewhere way out West’ and ‘This is the year’ through Gallo Record Company.
Speaking on what inspired the songs, he says, “South Africa’s natural landscapes have always evoked comparison to the good ol’ Wild West for me. I kind of wanted to create something that speaks true to my appreciations of the land.”
The songs take you to the campfire, out in the wild. Acoustic guitar, harmonica and a vocal purposed only for story are the main elements used and are diagnostic markers for the artist’s solo journey.
Earlier in 2021, at the invite of his friend Innocent Mabushe, Ben visited Limpopo province to write and record new material. Innocent and his family hosted Ben in their home outside Phalaborwa. During his stay, Ben was introduced to Zac, Xaxi and Mathlatsi - local producers who were keen to collaborate. In between playing football, light farm work and drives into the Kruger National Park- music began to flow. Inspired by the Bushveld, rural village life and Sepedi folklore, the ‘In Flow’ album was born. Energies of reggae, flow house and folk music thread together the 10-track album. The songs were mixed by Jurgen Wechmarshof at Sunset Studios in Cape Town and mastering by Tim Lengveld.
Ben’’s musical journey began with the violin at the age of five, an instrument he played until he picked up guitar and songwriting in his late teens. He signed with Sony Music Publishing Africa in 2016 and Gallo Record Company in 2020. His primary influences include Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Mark Knofler, U2, Cat Stevens and Mumford and Sons. Aside from playing or making music, Dey is an avid trail runner and passionate environmentalist.
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