Essex born Ben Mckelvey shares title track off latest album “Wild Child”. A punk drummer that grew into a multi-instrumentalist and wholesome storyteller through times of turbulence, McKelvey is a talent that should be on many radars.
Growing up Ben played drums in punk band Fluid Lines, at 21 he quit the band. Soon after he was hospitalised and bedridden with an illness. It was during this time that Ben took up learning to play guitar and subsequently, started to write songs. Eventually going on to play all of the instruments on his albums/EP’s.
Track “Wild Child” opens with a Gaslight Anthem flavoured guitar riff reminiscent of “The Spirit of The Jazz”. There is a thread that runs musically throughout Ben’s songs that has that American east coast punk sound of band like The Menzingers, The Flatliners and The Loved One’s. Vocally and in the lyrics it has more of the English, Frank Turner and Billy Bragg style of storytelling.
The song itself is about the never dying youthful dreams that musicians carry through life. That incessant need to be on the road playing night in night out to their loyal fans, a rush that many fail to deal with when gone. It’s a joyful anthem on the surface but also a sober reminder to the sacrifices that one must make to live this lifestyle.
On the song McKelvey has said “Wild Child’ was the last song I recorded for the album. It instantly became my favourite on the record and probably is my favourite I’ve ever written. There’s a lot of emotion in this song and it’s the most personal I’ve ever written. A song based on true events about how being a musician is something you can’t choose to let go when it’s in your blood and how it can destroy personal relationships. A tough song to write but very therapeutic. It was written at a low point in my life but when we get to play it live, it’s just incredible. I guess it’s dedicated to the musicians out there giving it their all .”
Having toured all across USA, Europe and the UK supporting the likes of Wet Wet Wet, The Overtones and Genesis also selling out headline shows in London and Brighton in Nov 2018, McKelvey is not slowing down this year. He’ll be playing main support to Jake Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street band (nephew of the late great Clarence Clemons) with a number of festival slots announced too.
Ben McKelvey Live Performances:
22/06/19 MAGAZIN4, BAD REICHENHALL, GERMANY
19/07/19 PENNFEST (main stage)
22/10/19 KING TUTS, GLASGOW w/ Jake Clemons
23/10/19 O2 ACADEMY2, SHEFFIELD w/ Jake Clemons
24/10/19 O2 ACADEMY2, LIVERPOOL w/ Jake Clemons
25/10/19 O2 ACADEMY2, OXFORD w/ Jake Clemons
26/10/19 O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON, LONDON w/ Jake Clemons
Have a listen to “Wild Child” here.
Have a look at a video that Ben talks throw the tracks of his latest album.