Friday, 3 June 2011

When does appreciating Ben Marwood's music turn into stalking?

Two weeks ago I saw  Frank Turner in Wolverhampton and supporting him was Ben Marwood. I had heard Ben's album before, yes I'm a geek & research and revise support acts before going to gigs. Obviously my love for The District Sleeps Alone Tonight meant that I was looking forward to seeing him. And I was not disappointed. His live performance far surpasses his recorded stuff, and he was so self deprecating and happy chatting to the crowd. It was really refreshing to hear both Ben & Franz Nicolay so at ease at interacting with the crowd, as the last few gigs I've been to the supports just did not know how to deal with other peoples fans. By the end of his set Al & I were happily singing along to his songs (insert joke here) and cheering enthusiastically.

After the gig we wondered over to the merch table as the guys wanted to buy his album. Rather embarrassingly I am completely skint. I had turned up to the gig with enough money to pay for the carpark and a heart full of hope that my friends would let me steal some of their drink. So I kind of hung back as both Ben & Franz were selling their gear, & it was obvious I wasn't going to buy anything. Pel then changed all that by blurting out how much hearing the District meant to me. So I automatically became my usual self and barged into the conversation. After getting a really random signiture in Pel's album from him we had a (really awful) picture taken with the guys and everyone was happy.

Since the gig I have not stopped listening to Toil. I wake up singing it, I have remixed it in with Frank's I Am Disappeared and also with Feeder's Just a Day in my head (don't ask how that happened I don't understand it either). Really annoyingly I have combined it with 'Tell Avril Lavigne I Never Wanted To Be Her Stupid Boyfriend' so it now forms one song, and now I get confused when I listen back to them as to why I am now singing the wrong words to the wrong tune. Spotify has meant that I now actually know all the words to pretty much every song and as a birthday present to myslef I have ordered his older EP of Amazon (its still somewhere in the post though). I have been on two road trips since we saw him, and both times my carefully crafted playlist, of frank/2005 punk/90s crap/80s cheese/ Jimmy Eat World/ Snippets of Hardcore that usually takes me the best part of a day to make, have been replaced as soon as one of Ben's songs have come on in favour of listening to his whole album.

Ali posted a link on twitter of Ben singing (drunkenly) the District in a bath tub. From there I have spiralled. Through you tube I have now listened to everyone that has ever had anything to do with Ben or Frank. Somewhat ironically his stuff reminded me that 2 years ago I was really into Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. I have listened to more than my standard 3 songs by Chris T-T, why I hadn't one that before I don't know. Jim Lockey is now a favourite and I am getting into the Tailors. The list goes on for quite a while. (for people that are interested you should watch this - it's just seasonally inappropriate ). My problem now is that if you look at my last FM, it kind of looks like I have tried to insert myself into the Ben/Frank/Bean's's group of friends/collaborators. Which I totally didn't mean to. Maybe it's a sign that I should have gone to Uni in London in order to go to Nambucca, or its just that all these people get on because they all make similar music, which just happens to be music I like to. But it is bothering me that I appear a little stalkerish and I really do not like the idea of being described as a 'fan girl'.

Rather amazingly, I have won tickets to go see Frank & Ben play again at the Barfly in Camden next Monday for the launch of England Keep My Bones. Thankfully, my birthday has meant that I actually have some expendable cash, so I am travelling down south and staying in some dodgy youth hostel off Chalk Farm Road. I am really excited about seeing Frank live again but also really chuffed that I get another chance to see Ben so I can say how much I love his songs (and Ben Gibbard covers). This time I am coming armed. I have a crisp £10 ready to buy his album, and also I have tracked down the book that Franz Nicolay was reading which we stole and got Ben to quote in Pel's album. This way I figure he can sign the first line of I Will Breathe You In on the cover, and together we will have a complete set.


  1. Lol bless ya, I'm glad myself and mate Chris aren't the only crazy Ben Marwood stalkers (though we decided frank and him should become one and be ever known as "Frank Marwood") my most random memory would have to be seeing him play a rather surreal gig in Notts in a village hall laid out complete with bingo styley tables. He came on after the young locals with violins and fiddles and his mate Barry (who thrashed the shit out of his acoustic guitar in his usual angsty way) needless to say he played a sublime performance with me and my mate jumping round cheering rather jeeringly lol, anyway got to chat to him after the gig where peer pressure and compliments got us an exclusive recital of "That Avril Lavigne Song" dunno if you have seen it on YouTube but I'm particularly proud of my girlish giggles of excitement as Ben forgot the words and had to think :)
    Keep up the loving, this man needs more stalkers :) xx

  2. ahh ben i remember that night in the middle of conservative voting land, Ben was sooo tired