Benjalu – social life p22 a


  Media Release for announcement: Monday March 28th 2011

Budding roots rock outfit BENJALU win over fans with a new approach on the eve their new ‘Shadows in the Sun’ EP and tour.

Four musician mates from Newcastle, collectively known as BENJALU, will release their third EP ‘Shadows In The Sun’ on April 8 via MGM’s Green label, and this week they’ll set off on another lengthy tour returning to fans in venues across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT.

With new media changing the way musicians approach releasing their music, speculation has been growing about the status of the long player release and BENJALU believe offering music lovers a slice of solid new sounds on a regular basis is the best approach. As a young independent self funded band, by releasing EP’s it allows them to tour more often and share their music with their fans more regularly which in turn helps them build a solid fan base.

‘Shadows in The Sun’ comprises four brand new distinctive tracks recorded under the guidance of Anthony Lycenko (U2, Elvis Costello, Pete Murray) and Ian Pritchett (Angus and Julia Stone, The Beautiful Girls, Cog) who produced and engineered the tracks with the band in Byron Bay’s  Rocking Horse Studio. Each member of BENJALU is an accomplished musician and as a unit they master their art at by infusing genres such as roots, rock, and jazz and even offer an occasional touch of reggae. Having been together since high school, the core members of the band all now in their early 20’s are certainly proficient players. They’ve performed over 500 shows since their inception in 2006 and sold close to 5,000 CD’s, they continue to attract music lovers of all sorts through their sheer hard work living and breathing the live music scene.

Bass player Anthony Morris today commented on their new EP and their approach,
“We took our time with this EP and we’re really pleased with the result and stoked to have been able to work with Anthony and Ian. We’ve discussed releasing a debut album for a while now but we feel it creates more interest for a young band like us by offering strong samplers of our music and backing it up with the live experience. Over the past couple of years we’ve expanded our touring schedule, each time we return to an area the crowds get bigger, the sing-along’s stronger and the diversity of the audience widens, and that’s really rewarding.”

BENJALU has shared the stage with high profile peers such as Katchafire (NZ), State Radio (USA), Kate Miller Heidke, The Basics, The Living End, Children Collide, Jon Stevens and James Reyne to name a few. They’ve also been well embraced by festival audiences at the likes of Peats Ridge, the Victorian Ridgey Didge Blues and Roots Festival and more recently the Nannup Festival in WA. They’ve secured sponsorship with Cole Clark guitars and Sabre vision and had songs selected for Channel 10’s Next Wave TV show and tracks used for the Big Eddie Quiksilver Surf Comp in Hawaii.
Join BENJALU on their  Shadows In The Sun Tour throughout April and May
Thursday March 31st -The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday April 7th – Macquarie Hotel, Port Macquarie, NSW
Thursday April 8th – The Queens Wharf Brewery, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday May 5th – National Hotel, Geelong, VIC
Friday May 6th – Baha Tacos, Rye, VIC
Saturday May 7th – Empress Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday May 12th – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday May 13th – Sand Bar, Mildura, VIC
Saturday May 14th – Loxton Hotel, Loxton, SA
Sunday May 15th – Glenelg Surf Club, Glenelg, SA
Friday May 20th – Yahoo Bar Shepparton, VIC
Saturday May 21st – Front Gallery Canberra, ACT
Sunday May 22nd – Towradgi Beach Hotel, Wollongong, NSW

BENJALU – ‘Shadows in the Sun’ EP available on Friday April 15th on Green through MGM


Benjalu, James Fahy @ The Front, Canberra 20/1/11

Local News by gossme, 22nd January, 2011

It was a hot, lazy night that saw The Front come to life with the chilled out music that epitomised the two acts of the evening.

Support act James Fahy kicked off as the audience found the comfiest couch to sit on and settle in for the night. Wowing the audience with the high ranges of his voice, Fahy kept the songs fairly dulcet, explaining that Benjalu’s energy would be even better if he kept his songs mellow. But this didn’t stop him from pumping up the crowd between songs, at one stage teaching punters to clap like they were from Newcastle, which is where he used to live. Apparently people from Newcastle don’t clap their hands together; they make a sound which can only be described in writing as “yeoow”. Fahy also posed a question to Benjalu, “What does Benjalu mean?” Seeing Fahy perform is an entertaining experience. He’s witty at the right times, intense and passionate when he sings – he’s certainly one talented man.

With what was possibly the shortest break ever between acts it didn’t take long for Benjalu to get straight into the thick of it. The band was without its usual drummer on the night, the boys explained that the replacement had only one weeks practice before performing. This didn’t impact at all on the high quality performance. Lead vocalist Ben Gumbleton has a distinctive voice that works across many different genres of music, which is lucky since the boys don’t confine themselves to just one in particular. They’re best described as a combination between roots, folk and reggae just to name a few depending on what song they’re performing. Benjalu took the audience on a ride through meaningful ballads and high-energy fun tunes. From the meaningful Two Messages, a song about people they knew who had lost a brother and a father, followed by the fun and totally upbeat Grains of Sand. Even a cover of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, which gave this reviewer goose bumps. The energy in the room was buzzing off the band, onto the crowd and straight back onto the band. Front man Gumbleton almost looked as though he’d bounce right off his cushion as he played.

When it was time for the show to end the audience gave a heartfelt round of applause and seemed genuinely disappointed that it was ending. Some even pleaded with the boys to keep playing because they didn’t have to work in the morning and could stay as long as they wanted. There was still one question lingering in the air, “What does Benjalu mean?” Well, if you thought it might have something to do with the front man’s name, you are mistaken. It’s in fact a roundabout acronym for “Benefits of living – just – as – life – unfolds”. Bass player Anthony Morris admitted that sometimes it’s just easier to make up stories about the meaning than explain it.

That was one great Thursday night! If you ever get the chance to see Benjalu make sure you do it, you won’t regret it!

Album Review: Benjalu – Waterwalls



Feb 22 2010


If practice makes perfect, Novocastrian roots outfit Benjalu must be close. Having played 250+ shows since Jan 2008, the trio have had numerous opportunities to hone their fusion of jazz, folk, rock and blues. Waterwalls, their second EP, is clearly the work of a band that knows how to play together. Singer Ben Gumbleton’s rich tenor spends much of the record intertwined with the lead guitar while percussion, rhythm guitar and occasionally harmonica or clarinet rise to fill out the rest. A (remaining anonymous, just in case) musician (okay, drummer) friend confessed that a touring schedule like Benjalu’s would’ve resulted in multiple homicides if his band attempted it. Here though, even the roots-rock tracks like So High and barrelling blues of Grey Old Man sound relaxed. With all that gigging they are better off saving their energy by getting along anyway. Murder can really take it out of you.