Best known for his 2010 debut single ‘Haunted‘, Ben Montague kick started his own career when releasing his first album Overcome. The musician and singer-songwriter enjoyed being in the limelight of BBC Radio 2, having ticked the boxes he was often played by the station’s favourites.
In 2012 Ben Montague joined The Wanted and Lawson on tour, before having two of his own headline successes later that year. But 2013 has to be his biggest year yet. The latest album Tales of Flying and Falling, produced by the man behind the Manics Dave Eringa, has led to a hard rock café tour with James Walsh and his upcoming UK headline adventure, which started in Southampton’s The Brooks on Sunday 6th October.
First up was support act Kristyna Myles, who has also toured with Montague in the past. With just her and guitarist Ben Williams trying to fill an open stage, it did seem a little empty and unexciting. But when the song ‘Big Love’ got into full swing, a big voice came out. Despite her chirpy outer core, Myles has a feisty bluesy twang that is hard to come by in popular female artists. Her final song, also her first debut single, ‘I’m not going back’, reinforces her style whilst telling a story actually worth listening to.
Myles certainly warmed the crowd up with her softly powerful set. But the excitement physically built as fans shuffled closer to the stage as the minute shifted closer to 9.00pm. Montague kicked the gig up a gear by starting with a classic from his first album ‘Rainy Day’, but the variation and improvisation on his own song makes it sound brand new, which left loyal fans stumbling for words, but still smiling. Having released his new EP The Truth, the CDs sold themselves by the end of the night after Montague performed ‘Sweet Amelia’, clearly a crowd favourite. The element of rock in this number definitely left female fans with their heads in their hands gazing in awe, convinced Amelia was a codeword for whatever their names were!
After enough whispering requests, the artist put the fans out of their misery and headed for the piano to play his first hit ‘Haunted’. It was stripped back and quite frankly, just plain sweet. Once again another Montague number that causes the female reaction of: hand on heart, head tilted perfectly at the pity angle whilst holding back tears.
Montague threw in a few covers to throw the crowd off course. You wouldn’t expect a guy and his guitar to pull off a ‘Pokerface’ so well. Montague dressed down Lady Gaga’s global hit, but not without a little ‘meeeoooow’ mid cover to tickle the audience.
Well after that performance, it’s safe to say the best of Ben Montague was heard that night. True, poppy feel good tunes may not be for everyone but for those of us who can’t help but fall in love with the ‘cute but epic-esque lighter waving’ genre, it’s hard to find someone better than Ben Montague.